Online Poetry Classes

New Class! Starts October 4, 2021

The Music of Meter

What is it that separates poetry from prose? How is it that we can hear a poem and know it is a poem, even if it lacks some of the usual markers like rhyme, or repetition? I would argue that it’s the meter of a poem that creates most of its music, even if the meter is not a recognizable, nameable one.

In this six-week class, we will be learning the nuts and bolts of meter–how to recognize it in the poems we read, how to use it effectively in the poems we write, and how to develop a “poet’s ear.” I will be using a variety of texts from which to draw material, but there is no text for participants to purchase. This class is most appropriate for those who have been writing poetry seriously for awhile, and are ready to drill down into the finer points of poetic craft.

This is a fully online class. There are no in-person meetings.

The Music of Meter (6 weeks)–$225

  • October 4 – November 12, 2021 : Registration Deadline: September 15, 2021

Ten spots available, first-come, first served.

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

Click here for more detailed information about the class


The Art of Voice in Poetry

The world is constantly telling you to “find your voice” as poet. How do you do that? What is involved? How do you bring in the voices of others in an ethical and effective way? Can you speak in a voice that is not yours? Who really is the speaker in your poems? Is it you? Is it a version of you that you have constructed? What authority do you have to say what you are saying, anyway?

These are questions that most poets think about.

In this brand-new class, we will be working our way, week by week, through Tony Hoagland’s excellent new book, The Art of Voice: Poetic Principles and Practice. Each week, we will read a chapter (or occasionally two) of the book, discuss, and then write a poem draft from a prompt based on the ideas of that week’s chapter(s). It will be necessary for participants to have a copy of the book, either print or electronic.

Participants will come out of the class with at least 10 new poem drafts with feedback from both class members and LouAnn Muhm, as well as a raft of new ideas both from the book and from lively class discussions of the ideas presented in it.

This is a fully online class. There are no in-person meetings.

The Art of Voice in Poetry (10 weeks)–$350

  • June 21-August 27, 2021 (with a break for July 4): Registration Deadline: June10

Ten spots available, first-come, first served.

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

Click here for more detailed information about the class


Poetry Home Repair 

Although Ted Kooser’s book, The Poetry Home Repair Manual states on the cover that it is “practical advice for beginning poets,” the book has great lessons for poets at any level of experience. In this course, we will work through Kooser’s excellent book chapter-by-chapter, gleaning the valuable lessons he has to impart, and practicing incorporating some of his “practical advice” into our own poems. Each week, there will be a handful of discussion questions drawn from that week’s assigned chapter, then a poem prompt related to that week’s topics. Each participant will come away from the class with a truckload of new ideas, new tools in their poetry toolbox, 10 new poem drafts and the feedback received on them from participants and instructor LouAnn Muhm to guide revision, and a new writing community with whom to share triumphs and struggles.

This is a fully online class. There are no in-person meetings.

Poetry Home Repair (10 weeks):  $350

  • March 15- May 21, 2021, Registration Deadline: March 10

Ten spots available in each course, first-come, first served


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

Click HERE for more detailed information about the class.


Triggering Poetic Inspiration

Where do poem ideas come from? Finding a way to sustain poetry writing beyond those first emotion-driven poems that we just have to write is often the challenge facing poets who have been writing for awhile. Using Richard Hugo’s The Triggering Town as inspiration, poets will come out of this class with eight new poems, as well as some new tools for generating inspiration and ideas.

This is a fully online class. There are no in-person meetings.

Triggering Poetic Inspiration I (8 weeks): $280

  • January 11-March 4, 2021

Ten spots available in each course, first-come, first served


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

Click HERE for more detailed information about the class.



Writing the Short Poem with LouAnn Muhm

I took LouAnn’s class on compression in poetry to challenge myself and try writing poetry again, something I hadn’t done in years, having focused on fiction. Her class brought me back to a love of writing poetry. But it did so much more than that. It positively affected every aspect of my life as a writer (a freelance writer by profession, fiction as an avocation). Learning about compression and the vital importance of every word and how to deeply analyze text on a word-by-word basis made me a better writer. I use those skills every day, for poetry, fiction, and for my freelance work. I can’t recommend LouAnn enough as an instructor (and I went on to take subsequent classes from her, each as valuable as the first).” ( quote from class participant Amy C, Rea)

Have you been told that your poems read like prose, or that “maybe that poem would work better as a short story”? Do you have trouble deciding what to cut from your rough drafts? One of the characteristics that makes poetry poetic is the compression of language. In this class, we will read and discuss a variety of short poems, practice cutting extraneous language from poems (by others and by you), and think about what kinds of language can (should?) almost always be cut. We will work with your drafts, old and new, and generate new poems with an emphasis on compression and concision. We will explore a variety of short forms as well as concise free verse. The skills practiced in this class will also help with longer poems, and even with tightening up your prose writing.

This is a fully online class. There are no in-person meetings.

Writing the Short Poem I (5 weeks): –$175

  • Dates for the remainder of 2020 are TBD

Writing the Short Poem II (5 weeks): –$175 (open only to those who have taken session I of this class)

  • Dates for the remainder of 2020 are TBD

Ten spots available in each class , first-come, first served

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

Click HERE for more detailed information about the class.



Ekphrasis: Poetry Inspired by Art

Looking for inspiration for your poetry? This is the class for you! Poets from John Keats to Rita Dove have written poems responding to art. The formal name for this kind of poetry is Ekphrasis. In this class, the emphasis will be on generating new poems. Each week, prompts from various genres of art will be provided. No special knowledge of art is required—students will write whatever the prompt inspires them to write, whether in direct response to the artwork, or in response to their own ideas and experiences brought up by the artwork. Students will generate from 8-16 new poems, give and receive feedback on the first drafts, and get a start on revising.

This is a fully online class. There are no in-person meetings.

Ekphrasis: Poetry Inspired by Art (8 weeks): $280

  • Dates for the remainder of 2020 are TBD

Ten spots available in each course, first-come, first served


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

Click HERE for more detailed information about the class.

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