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Reaching Outward: Poetry as Empathy

  • Miller Hall 101 Ukrop Way Williamsburg, VA, 23188 United States (map)

Overview: Human beings are connected both by wound and by healing, by experience and expectation. Poetry rises out of our own inner experience, but is it able to emerge from an experience beyond our own, connecting us to others? Can we write a poem tracing someone else’s footprints, placing our heart in or close to their heart, for a wider, shared healing? In this workshop, Sofia Starnes, Virginia’s Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014 and decorated author of six poetry collections, will lead us as we try to answer these questions by looking at several poems by various authors, reading them in-depth and in open conversation. Having done so, the participants will be given a selection of “prompts” to initiate a poem of their own, which they will be invited (but not compelled) to share, eliciting comments by other participants, with input from the workshop leader. Participants are also encouraged to bring another poem or two, related to this theme, to read aloud as time permits.

When & Where: This workshop will take place on the campus of William & Mary in Room 1069 of Miller Hall (101 Ukrop Way, Williamsburg, VA 23185), located in the left wing of the main floor, on Saturday, December 8 from 10 AM - 2 PM.