Writers Workshop – Dr. Peter Anderson written by John West
A year and a half ago, a group gathered to listen to others read, and to read their own, poems. This was the beginning of Poetry Jams. Providing the place and the space was Ruth Nuckols Cox Williamson. Dr. Jean Roelke, University of North Texas senior lecturer and co-founder of the Ghost Town Arts Collective, was a moving force and said, “Art has become an industry and not part of our every day lives. We want to take it back. Creativity should be at the heart of our lives.” Obviously, there are other groups of people who make art and display that work. Drs. Jerry Lincecum and Peggy Redshaw began a writers’ group for those who had stories to tell, but were not professional biographers, and so began “Telling Our Stories”.
Now, there will be workshops held at the Ideation Station to be led by Dr. Peter Anderson, recently retired. Peter is a prize-winning poet with many years’ experience running writers’ workshops and is also an award-winning novelist for The Unspeakable. The workshop for poets and potential poets is called “Dancing Catfish” and is best described in Peter’s words, “Poets know what poetry is. But we also know that only too seldom does a poem appear to us in its final form, perfectly cut and shaped. Poems are made. One curiously neglected point about the making is that other poets are often essential to the process. It follows that a group of poets working together, reading one another’s work with an eye to strengthening, improving every word, line, syllable — everything — can be invaluable. The aim is to form an interactive community and then to produce poetry that is poetry — poetry that, if we wish, we could put forward for possible publication in a Ghost Town literary journal and beyond.” Dancing Catfish comes from what someone said to him, A cat is nice / Because it doesn’t / Bark. Hearing this, Peter saw a dancing catfish somersault in his mind’s eye, a poem!
The writers’ workshop doesn’t have as fanciful a name, much more down to earth – Rock Salt Writers’ Workshop: Fiction and More. Peter describes what he expects, “We will get together as a group for six lively and productive weeks in order to concentrate on the practice of narrative fiction/creative nonfiction. We shall read and comment upon one another’s stories, always with an eye to honing and strengthening what is written, whether the draft before us happens to be a first-ever attempt by someone just setting out, or a highly skilled advanced draft by a writer who needs only a tip or two to bring the story at stake to the point of potential publication.”
Dancing Catfish (Poetry Workshop)
Location: Gallery Off the Square at Ideation Station 101 E. Jones Street, Sherman,TX
Dates: May23rd – June 27th Meeting for 6 weeks on Thursdays
Cost to participate: $150
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM