Writing the Short Poem

email northbeachwriters@gmail.com to register
or for more information

The April 6-May 8 session of Writing the Short Poem I and the May 18-June 19 session of Writing the Short Poem II are offered free of charge to the first ten people who contact us who have been laid off or cannot work due to Coronavirus. Please send an email requesting this session and explaining your work situation to northbeachwriters@gmail.com. We would love to accommodate everyone, but must limit the class to 10 participants, first-come, first-served.

Writing the Short Poem I (5 weeks): April 6- May 8 and June 8-July 10, 2020— $150

Registration deadline: March 30 for the April class, May 1 for the June class. Ten spots available in each course, first-come, first served

Writing the Short Poem II (5 weeks): May 18-June 19 and July 13-August 14, 2020–$150 (open only to those who have taken session I of this class)

Registration deadline: April 15, 2020 for the May class, June 15 for the July class. Ten spots available, first-come, first served

Topics covered in this 5-week session include:

  • How to talk about poems in a workshop setting
  • Titles
  • What to cut (revision by cutting)
  • Found Poems
  • Using metaphor
  • Using forms in poetry (i.e. sonnet, tanka, haiku…)

Participants will participate in online discussions, do some practice exercises, write new poem drafts based on prompts, and give and receive constructive feedback on those drafts, from the instructor and from each other.

Writing the Short Poem II (5 weeks): July 13-August 14, 2020–$150 (open to those who have taken session I of this class)

Registration deadline: July 1, 2020. Ten spots available, first-come, first served

Topics covered in this 5-week session include:

  • What makes poems “good”?
  • Radical methods of revision
  • Recoverability in poems (what to leave out/how much mystery is too much)
  • Your writing process
  • Line breaks
  • Publication

Participants will participate in online discussions, do some practice exercises, write new poem drafts based on prompts, and give and receive constructive feedback on those drafts, from the instructor and from each other.

What previous participants had to say:

I love the online atmosphere; there is less pressure to produce on a specific day of the week. There is almost greater contact because you aren’t limited to one day a week, a two hour time frame. You have access to the teacher and other students through messaging. Plus, it’s easier to see and comprehend other people’s comments and writings.


LouAnn is a remarkable teacher. She always has the best interests of her students at heart, and takes time with each one.


I’ve enjoyed reading all of the extra material instructor provides, very helpful and thought-provoking. The online chats make you feel connected, a good way to get to know other students. And of course, it has been good for my writing and reading, keeping me going and expanding my poetry skills.


Past Retreats

Visiting Writers, 2019:

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Heid E. Erdrich is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media from Michigan State University Press. She is editor of two anthologies of literature by Native writers including NEW POETS OF NATIVE NATIONS from Graywolf Press. Her recent non-fiction work is Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories and Recipes. Heid’s writing has won awards from Native Arts and Culture Foundation, Loft Literary Center, Minnesota State Arts Board, Minnesota Book Award, and more. You can see her award-winning, collaborative poem films on her Vimeo channel.  Heid grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. She teaches in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program of Augsburg College.

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer. She is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (Coffee House Press, 2008), winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Readers Choice, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Asian Literary Award in Nonfiction. Her second book, The Song Poet (Metropolitan Books, 2016) won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Creative Nonfiction Memoir. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, a PEN USA Award in Nonfiction and the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize. The Song Poet has recently been modified into a stage musical, which will be performed at the Ordway theater. In the fall of 2019, Yang will debut her first children’s book, A Map Into the World, a collection titled What God is Honored Here?: An Anthology on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Indigenous Women and Women of Color, and a work of nonfiction about refugee lives in America, Somewhere in the Unknown World. Yang is also a teacher and a public speaker.