Tag Archives: poetry workshop

The sexy “little song”: Sonnet Workshop by Camille Martin

How did the sonnet get from Petrarch to Bervin?



How will you re-invent the sonnet?

Find out in my six-week workshop/class on the sonnet at the Toronto New School of Writing. I taught this course last year and was blown away by the class discussions and the poetry written by the participants.

Click here to view the course on the TNSoW website. Register early to reserve your place!

Duration: 21 February – 27 March 2012 (6 Tuesdays) 6-8 PM
Location: Of Swallows, 283 College Street, Upper Floor Seminar Room

“The sonnet . . . is not a form at all but a state of mind.” – William Carlos Williams

Throughout its 800-year history, the sonnet has seen periods of vogue and dormancy, but it just keeps bouncing back, and its contemporary allure to poets shows no signs of abating. Just why did the sonnet come into being, and what accounts for its remarkable longevity?

In this Sonnet Workshop, we’ll explore the enduring appeal of the sexy “little song.” Combining a historical overview of the sonnet with creative writing assignments, this course offers you the opportunity to experience the sonnet as a traditional and experimental network of possibilities.

Through a series of Reading/Writing sessions focused around various poetic models, we’ll deepen our appreciation of the sonnet’s evolution as well as generate our own sonnets, continuing the historical momentum of this ever-popular “state of mind.”

Instructor bio:
Camille Martin is the author of Sonnets (2010), Codes of Public Sleep (2007), and Sesame Kiosk (2001). Of Sonnets, Rae Armantrout observes that “in some ways, these poems are almost traditional,” yet “in these taut, fast-paced, self-aware poems, the lyric meets 21st-century paranoia and sparks fly.” Carol Dorf writes that Martin creates “a world where science and myth intersect,” a “world of a mind reflecting on itself, the natural and built environments, time, and language.” And Jordan Scott speaks of “the magnificence in these poems, a poetic magnetic, propelling you to turn the page.”

Martin has performed her work in over twenty-five cities in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of New Orleans. She is a seasoned instructor of poetry and workshops in the community and at high schools and universities.


Camille Martin

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Sonnet Workshop to begin Tuesday, March 15!

My “sonnet shakedown” workshop will run from March 15 to April 12.

Join us as we explore the kaleidoscopic history of the sonnet, from Petrarchan to Oulipian, from blazon to flarf and beyond. We’ll also write our own sonnets – using, throwing out, and writing our own rules of engagement with the “little song.” The sonnet is dead. Long live the sonnet!

Seating is limited, but there are still openings in the class—click here to sign up at the Toronto New School of Writing (TNSOW) website.

Here’s the info:

Sonnet Workshop (Mar 15 – Apr 12, 2011)
Instructor: Camille Martin


Duration: 5 weeks (Tuesdays), 15 March – 12 April 2011, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Capacity: 12 students

Combining a historical overview of the sonnet form (or as Hollo once called it, the sonnet state of mind) with creative writing assignments, this course offers students the opportunity to experience the sonnet as a traditional and experimental network of possibilities.

Through a series of Reading/Writing sessions focused around various “sonnet-inspired models,” participants will deepen their appreciation of the evolution of the sonnet across history as well as generate their own sonnets, investigating relationships between the rubrics of tradition and form and content and meaning, while continuing the momentum of the “little song’s” enduring popularity.

Required Texts: Sonnets by Camille Martin, as well as a selection of readings that will be provided.

Click here to register for the class at the TNSOW website.

 


 

Camille Martin

Sonnet Workshop at TNSOW!

Less than two weeks before my five-week Sonnet Workshop begins! Here’s the info:

Sonnet Workshop (Mar 15 – Apr 12, 2011)
Instructor: Camille Martin

Duration: 5 weeks (Tuesdays), 15 March – 12 April 2011, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Capacity: 12 students

Combining a historical overview of the sonnet form (or as Anselm Hollo once called it, the sonnet state of mind) with creative writing assignments, this course offers students the opportunity to experience the sonnet as a traditional and experimental network of possibilities.

Through a series of Reading/Writing sessions focused around various “sonnet-inspired models,” participants will deepen their appreciation of the evolution of the sonnet across history as well as generate their own sonnets, investigating relationships between the rubrics of tradition and form and content and meaning, while continuing the momentum of the “little song’s” enduring popularity.

Required Texts: Sonnets by Camille Martin, as well as a selection of readings that will be provided.

Click here to register for the class at the TNSOW website.

 


 

Camille Martin

New upcoming events – poetry and collage

Just uploaded some new information into my Upcoming Events page:


COLLAGE EXHIBIT

Sunday, December 12 – Thursday, December 23, 2010
Toronto: Arta Gallery at The Distillery / 55 Mill Street
Three limited-edition collage prints on exhibit and available for purchase, such as this one:

The Birth of Newton


POETRY WORKSHOP

Five Tuesdays: March 15 – April 12, 2011, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Toronto New School of Writing
click here for details & registration


POETRY READING

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Toronto: The Pivot at The Press Club / 850 Dundas Street West


COLLAGE EXHIBIT

June 2011
Toronto Public Library, Woodside Square Branch
Twelve limited-edition collage prints on exhibit and available for purchase

Remembering remembering Leslie Scalapino

          It’s still hard to believe that Leslie Scalapino is gone. Although I was saddened by the news, the enormousness of the loss is only now starting to sink in. Over the years, she’s had a profound influence on my own writing. It was through her that I became interested in Buddhist thought, and in particular the writings of Nagarjuna.
          I also admired her philosophical explorations of public and private spaces and actions, and her focus on stripping phenomena down to get as close as possible to the level of perception, to peel back the cultural, personal and political biases with which we habitually infuse events. This helped me to to have a more intense awareness of the deeply ingrained assumptions of our cognition. Her influence on my work is especially apparent (or so I’ve been told) in the title poem of Codes of Public Sleep, an exploration, in part, of private and public space and behaviour in downtown New Orleans.
          The reading that I organized for her in April 2002 at Cafe Brasil in New Orleans was one of the most memorable I have ever experienced. She read, among other things, from The Tango, and the rhythm of her delivery was more than mesmerizing—it seemed to reveal the inner sense of the words and phrases in relation to the Buddhist thought in which she was so immersed. It revealed a splaying of consciousness with an intense awareness of the myriad perspectives that perception and cognition bring to phenomena—including the phenomenon of one’s own awareness. I will always treasure the copy of that book that she gave me and her description of Buddhist masters that she had witnessed in Tibet questioning the seated clusters of disciples in lightning-quick fashion, sometimes snapping their fingers for a response.

          The workshop that she facilitated around my kitchen table for the privileged few who showed up was an eye- and mind-opener. One of the exercises was in three parts. First, we were to take a few minutes to pay close attention to what was happening in our minds, without trying to impose an agenda of topic or emotion, just to listen closely and write. As I remember, mine was pretty disjunctive, words and phrases that happened to surface into consciousness interspersed with what I can only describe as onomatopoeic noises, hummings and interjections.
          For the second part, she asked us to describe an event that we had witnessed, one that made an impression on us, but to describe it as far as possible without imputing emotions or opinions about it, simply to describe, for example, the motion of someone’s leg kicking a chair. The event might have been laden with assumptions and biases at the time, but she instructed us to think about the event as being a phenomenon stripped of mental attributions—to the extent that this is possible—to get to the roots of the phenomenon itself.
          What immediately came to my mind was a fight over a computer that I had recently witnessed in the New Orleans Public Library, where I was working at a reference desk. I remembered one man pushing the other man over a table, the grimaces on their faces, and so forth. I remember that it was revealing to see the event in my mind’s eye as an observer, not to focus on my own anxiety and revulsion at the time, but to focus on the event as event—not to react, but to see and not to impute.
          The first writing was a subjective inner flow of consciousness; the second was a recording of the out-there, stripped as much as possible of the constant commentary of the little evaluator and interpreter inside our head.
          The third part of the experiment was to combine the two writings, to alternate between the inner consciousness and the event-phenomenon. I thought my attempt at the combination awkward, jarring, but Leslie reacted enthusiastically to it, and I then understood more about the point of the exercise. It wasn’t that what I had written was publishable or anything, but through the experiment I was made to think in ways that made me feel slightly uncomfortable, to show me something about habits of thought. And it helped me to understand better her own poetic project. And the more that I read of Nagarjuna, the more her writing experiment at the workshop made sense to me.
          In my next post, I’ll reproduce an essay that was published in HOW2 a few years ago in a special critical feature on Leslie Scalapino. Alert: it’s on the longish side, but I hope that some parts of it are rewarding.



Camille Martin