WALNUT STREET WEST LIBRARY,  40th and Walnut St, Philly, PA

 JUNE 8, 15, 22 and 29*  All Wednesdays 6:00 PM—7:30 PM

Contact:   OR:  215.808.9507 * Free* Register Now!

Students will gain a fuller understanding of poetry in our world and improve their poetic skills.  International and American Poetry will be discussed, with a focus on what makes a poet’s voice original, what makes the voice their own, and the ways in which the poet speaks directly to the reader.  Students will learn to identify, and trust, the same qualities in their poems, and establish voice as a working principle in their poetry. The workshop is designed to identify and develop the sense of place in the poet’s work. The aim is to firmly root the poem where it takes place, so the subject matter and concerns of the poem will unfold around it.  Specific direction and assignments will be given, with attention to the basic elements and forms of poetry. Through invention, students will build more accurate and textured work. The workshop is structured to accommodate poets at any level of accomplishment. 

 Leonard Gontarek,  Philadelphia Poet Laureate finalist, is the author of five books of poems: St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris, Van Morrison Can’t Find His Feet, Zen For Beginners, Déjà Vu Diner, He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs (Hanging Loose Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Field, Poet Lore, Verse, Exquisite Corpse, Handsome, Fence, Blackbird, The Awl, Poetry Northwest, Spinning Jenny, and in the anthologies, The Best American Poetry, The Working Poet, Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets, and Joyful Noise: American Spiritual Poetry. He twice received poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and was the 2011 Philadelphia Literary Death Match Champion. Since 2006, he has conducted 1000 poetry workshops in venues including, The Moonstone Arts Center, Musehouse, The Kelly Writers House, University City Arts League, the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, and a weekly Saturday workshop from his home in West Philadelphia.  He hosts the Green Line Café Reading and Interview Series.