Poetry and Art Workshop – Los Angeles, CA

Words & Pictures: Accessing Poetry through Art


“The imagination is a deep-sea diver that rakes the bottom of the poet’s mind and dredges up sleeping images…Poetry is our most sophisticated use of language, but it is also our most primitive. It has its source, deep under the layers of life, in the primordial self. If we go deep enough, we may discover the secret place where our key images have been stored since childhood. There are chains of other images attached to them, the accretion of years. A single touch activates the whole cluster.” –Stanley Kunitz

The poet Stanley Kunitz spoke of “deep image” to describe poetry’s capacity to give us access to the “primordial” material imprinted on our imaginations from the time before we had language, perhaps. From this perspective, poetry is a way to use language to bypass language and all its distancing strategies, to get closer to the “real stuff” of our lives, to touch the deep wordless places we come from.

In this Poetry and Art workshop, we will take Kunitz’s perceptions on poetry as a point of inspiration, engaging in exercises to help us “deep sea dive” using our imaginations and hearts as guides. Because our earliest perceptions were experienced not as words, but as images, we will find our way to language through the visual, using simple but powerful art materials and techniques to “turn our minds in another direction” and to serve as the bridge to poem-making. Through a series of exercises, we will dive into the writing process in ways that will likely be unfamiliar and generate surprising, possibly “messy” and rich results.

This workshop is not currently scheduled.

Workshop Schedule