Poetry: New Truth From Old Stuff

Poetry: New Truth From Old Stuff

by Lora Zill

This class at St. Davids Conference this year will appeal to poets at any level, but all wordsmiths will benefit. Learning to write poetry teaches the nonfiction or fiction writer how to choose the right word and create sensory imagery with layered meanings.

I will talk about the process of writing poetry, its art and craft. We will learn techniques and devices and develop a feel for the art of language and how it works.  I encourage participation so come ready to offer your insights into the artistic writing process! Of course, you are welcome to come and just absorb.

I’ll share favorite poems as examples of art and craft. I will bring lots of hands-on activities, like seed catalogs, paint chips, newspapers, word tiles, crayons, and stained glass to generate ideas. To highlight the sounds of language we’ll watch and discuss short videos of poetry being performed during a national competition called Poetry Out Loud.  (I’m the NW PA regional coordinator for Erie Arts and Culture.)

One of poetry’s biggest rewards comes from trusting the reader to “get it.” Poems create a space for the writer to imply and the reader to infer.  There the writer and reader meet to wrestle with life’s most important questions.

Ted Kooser says, “In writing poetry, even those poems that fail and fail miserably, we honor and affirm life.” So, come to Poetry: New Truth From Old Stuff for fun, interactive workshops that will dare us to write poems and not worry about perfection. We will explore, learn, discover, and enjoy the art of the written and spoken word and discover the Root and Wellspring of our creativity, Jesus Christ.


LoraZillLora Zill teaches at Gannon University and in Allegheny College’s gifted program for public school students. She is a teaching artist with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and a conference speaker. She is working on a book about creative expression and feeling God’s pleasure. Check out Lora’s class Writing the “Good Poem” Thursday through Saturday at this year’s conference.