Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Poetry Friday

I love taking writing classes. I've taken many, and I've learned something from each of them. In this economy, I hadn't planned on taking any classes this year. It was a luxury I didn't think I could afford.

Then, I heard about Laura Salas' new class, a rhyming poetry workshop. Poetry writing classes for children's writers are rare so I really wanted to take this one. When I saw how affordable the price was, I immediately signed up! I'm so glad I did.

Anyone who has ever taken one of Laura's online classes will tell you that she is an excellent teacher. Her lessons are clearly written with helpful links and tons of examples. I'm not much of a techie, but with Laura's instructions I was able to navigate the site and take advantage of the multi-media resources.

Technology is great, but nothing takes the place of personal one-on-one feedback. Laura gave detailed critiques with honest yet encouraging suggestions. In all the classes I've taken, I've never had an instructor give such an indepth line-by-line critique. I could tell that Laura put a lot of time and thought into her responses.

I took the class with a wonderful group of folks. I enjoyed reading their poems, and the suggestions they gave me to improve my poems were so helpful. Everyone worked to encourage and support each other.

It's tough to put yourself out there and share your work with others. The instructor sets the tone for the class, and Laura's warm personality always puts everyone at ease. She gives her students a safe environment to take risks in their writing.

Another personal touch in Laura's classes is that she is generous with her time. She tirelessly answers every question and shares her personal experiences and knowledge of the publishing world.

My only regret is that I didn't have as much time to put into the class as I had hoped. The last month of school is one of the busiest times for teachers. I would have loved to have participated more in the book discussions and revising my poems, but I am printing all the critiques so I'll have plenty to work on this summer.

The class has ended, but the lessons I've learned will help me to continue improving as a writer.

We're very fortunate to have Laura, a talented poet and teacher, offering poetry classes. I plan to take as many of her poetry classes that I can while she is still offering them. I hope some of our other Poetry Friday folks will join me.