Classes & Workshops

Fall 2020

"Poetry Is Not a Luxury": A Workshop on BIPOC Women's Poetry

“Poetry is not a luxury,” said Audre Lorde. “It is a vital necessity of our existence.” Join us for a two-hour exploration of poetry by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) women writers, with an emphasis on how the features of poetry that make it challenging can become powerful tools for sociopolitical resistance, self-expression, and the embodiment of textual acts of resistance. 

 

Virtual class via Zoom. Registrants will receive a link prior to the session via email. To register for this free session, send an email to this address: emilybowles160@gmail.com and reserve your spot.

 

About the instructor: Emily Bowles holds a Ph.D. in English and a certificate in Women's Studies from Emory University.  Her chapbook--"His Journal, My Stella" (Finishing Line Press, 2018)--explores literary history through the figure of Jonathan Swift's Stella. Her current poetry focuses on the recovery of lost and marginalized women's voices.

 

Length: 1 session, 2 hrs.

When: Sunday, Nov. 8th, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Where: Virtual (emailed Zoom link)

Class size: Minimum 5.

Cost: Free (suggested donation to an organization that promotes a more equitable, inclusive literary community, like Well-Read Black Girl).

Nurture Your Writing: 10 Tips for the Care and Feeding of Your Creativity

Ever sit down to write and find yourself staring at a blank page? You’re not alone. Every writer gets stuck sometimes. Whether you’re struggling to get started with your writing project or just looking for ideas to help you keep going, this class is for you.  Join Laura Winkelspecht for an interactive, fast-paced session where you’ll learn tips and tools to help you flex your creative muscles. Writers and poets of any level are welcome.

Virtual class via Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with a link to the session.

About the instructor: Laura Winkelspecht has been published in One Sentence Poems, Rat’s Ass Review, The Lake, Poets Reading the News, Antiheroin Chic, among others. She received an honorable mention for The Mill’s 2017 Janet Dee Wullner-Faiss Memorial Prize for Poetry. Laura is also a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has a Master’s degree in English from UW-Oshkosh and has worked as a writer and editor for businesses throughout Northeast Wisconsin. 

Length: 1 session

When: Wednesday, Sept. 9 | 7:00pm – 8:30pm 

Where: Virtual (emailed Zoom link)

Class Size: 4 minimum, 8 maximum (maximum reached; enrollment closed)

Cost: $10 (special discounted rate for our first online class)

(Covid-19 has altered the landscape of nearly everything. We hope to return to in-person classes soon, but the coronavirus will tell us if and when. Stay safe.)

Introductory Session: Lessons Seven Poets Can Teach Us

In this one-hour, on-line session, participants will be introduced to the full eight-session course (see course immediately below), "Lessons Seven Poets Can Teach Us." We'll discuss the five key elements of poetry that will serve as a basis for our examination of poems by our seven "master poets." Then, by way of example, we will discuss a poem or two by James Wright and Jane Kenyon to see what lessons they might teach us. The master poets to be looked at in the full session are: James Wright, Jane Kenyon, Philip Levine, Sharon Olds, Ruth Stone, William Stafford, and Mary Oliver.

 

Virtual class via Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with a link to the session.

 

About the instructor: Tom Montag is recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013 and Seventy at Seventy. His collection, The River Will Tell You: Poems Along the Keya Paha, is forthcoming. He has been writing and publishing in a wide variety of little magazines for more than fifty years and blogs at middlewesterner.com. Learn more about Tom.

 

Length: 1 session

When: Saturday, Sept. 19 | 10:30 am – 11:30 am (closed; thanks to those who took part)

Where: Virtual (emailed Zoom link)

Class Size: 2 minimum, no maximum

Cost: $10 (will be refunded if you enroll in the course that follows)

 Lessons Seven Poets Can Teach Us

Over the course of these eight on-line sessions, we will examine poems by seven poets to see what lessons they might teach us and absorb into our own poetry. We will let these poets inspire at least fourteen new poems of our own. Be prepared to read these poets closely and to share your own new work in the comfort of a small group of like-minded participants. The poets: James Wright, Jane Kenyon, Philip Levine, Sharon Olds, Ruth Stone, William Stafford, and Mary Oliver.

 

Virtual class via Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with a link to the session.

 

About the instructor: Tom Montag is recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013 and Seventy at Seventy. His collection, The River Will Tell You: Poems Along the Keya Paha, is forthcoming. He has been writing and publishing in a wide variety of little magazines for more than fifty years and blogs at middlewesterner.com. Learn more about Tom.

 

Length: 8 sessions, 2 hrs. per session

When: Wednesdays, Sept. 30-Nov. 18 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where: Virtual (emailed Zoom link)

Class Size: 2 minimum, 8 maximum

Cost: $195, (a refund of $10 will be issued if you took the Introductory Session described above)

'The Comfort We Get Used To': On Rereading Virginia Woolf During a Pandemic

When Virginia Woolf experienced the solar eclipse, she described a sense of radical loss--and gratitude at the return of light after darkness. After months of struggling through our own darkness, writers are invited to join together for a virtual exploration of select passages from Woolf’s writing. These will serve as prompts for examining creativity post-COVID. Passages from three of Woolf’s works will provide three journaling-style activities.  We’ll talk about the “comfort we get used to,” and write a little about what we can make from our literary pasts as we move forward.

Virtual class via Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with a link to the session.

About the instructor: Emily Bowles holds a PhD in English and a certificate in Women's Studies from Emory University.  Her chapbook--"His Journal, My Stella" (Finishing Line Press, 2018)--explores literary history through the figure of Jonathan Swift's Stella. Ms. Bowles's current poetry focuses on the recovery of lost and marginalized women's voices, with attention paid to the domestic arts.

Length: 1 session, 2 hrs.

When: Saturday, Sept. 26 | 1:00-3:00 pm (Closed; thanks to those who took part)

Where: Virtual (emailed Zoom link)

Class Size: 4 minimum, 8 maximum 

Cost: $10 (special discounted rate)

Student Testimonials

"The classes at The Mill are a jewel for the Fox Cities, for readers, writers — anybody who loves to read and wants to improve their writing."

-- Phil Snyder --

If you are currently writing, or need help and encouragement to start or complete a writing project, nothing compares to meeting with a group of writers like yourself led by an experienced author and educator. Classes change throughout the year.  If you have questions about any of our classes or workshops, send us an email and we’ll direct it to the instructor.

Taking Classes at the Mill (in person and/or online)

What to Bring: Unless otherwise noted in the description, all you need is pen and paper. A sweater is advisable. You may bring a laptop or other electronic device, but it is not required or needed.

 

Class Size: Most classes are kept small, usually between 4 and 12 students. Some Saturday workshops may be larger.

 

Class Cancellation: Classes that do not meet minimum enrollments may be canceled a minimum of 3 business days prior to the first class meeting with full refunds to all students. Register early.

 

Acceptance: The Mill reserves the right to refuse a registration.

Weather Cancellations: Extreme weather can happen. If it occurs, you will be notified the class is canceled using the contact information you provided.

 

Need to drop the course you’ve registered for? Prorated refunds will be granted for dropping a course before half the number of classes have been held. If half or more have been held, then no refund will be given. We will not refund for missed classes. For drops of one-session classes or workshops, we will refund the full amount less 3%.

 

In the rare instance that a teacher determines he or she cannot meet the needs of a student, the student’s full tuition will be reimbursed.

 

Methods of Payment: No installment payments. Space cannot be held before receiving full payment. A $20 fee will be assessed for bad checks.

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