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Coaxing Nectar From Longing

The first book of poems by Central New York writer Georgia A. Popoff was released nationally fall '97 by Hale Mary Press of Syracuse, New York. A collection of over 50 poems spanning a 20-year period, this book is the product of many experiences of love, family, introspection, spirit, and nature. Poet and novelist Joe Cardillo writes:

"Georgia Popoff explores relationships of all types. She brings her readers up close to a wide range of characters and passions as she examines the course of longing, memory, healing, and longing again. These are poems that focus on important issues."
Many of these poems have been previously published in literary journals, including the Asheville Poetry Review, Comstock Review, Midwest Poetry Review, Red Brick Review, Salt Hill Journal, The Seasons, and the Syracuse Cultural Workers':  In Praise of the Muse -  Women Artists Datebook 1998.

In Central New York, this collection of poetry may be purchased at Seven Rays Bookstore, My Sisters' Words, and Borders Books & Music.  It may also be found at The Bookery in Ithaca, New York, or on-line through amazon.com, barnes&noble.com, and borders.com.

Copies of the book  may also be ordered directly from the author by filling out and printing the order form below, enclosing a check or money order for $13.95 each (tax and shipping included), paid to the order of: Georgia A. Popoff, and mailing it to 112 Judson Street, Syracuse, New York 13210.   [Note:  the form cannot be sent via e-mail at this time.]

Also Available: ANGELS AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE, a 90-minute cassette recording of poems by Georgia A. Popoff, many of which also appear in Coaxing Nectar from Longing ($9.95 with tax and shipping). 

Workshop Descriptions

Word Play - a workshop twofold in focus:  immediate writing opportunities to access new poems and revision strategies to carve the poems out of all those words.  By offering what Richard Hugo refers to as "the triggering town" or a thematic suggestion to intiate new work, participants generally leave with a draft of a poem they would not have accessed otherwise, as well as tools for revising the work we all need to pay so much attention to in bringing them to their greatest potential.  This workshop has been offered at the Austin International Poetry Festival, and throughout the United States.

Leaving Your Legacy is a memoir workshop for all ages that offers mapping and brainstorming strategies for creating one's own memoir.  By creating personal timelines, examining phases of growth and change through life, and reflecting on the spheres of influence that affect us as people, the tales unfold and the memories return to be collected and recorded.  This is a featured workshop at the Syracuse YMCA Downtown Writers Center, a chapter of the national Writers Voice program.

The Lyric of Devotion is a workshop experience focused on the use of poetry an the expression of the spiritual aspect of daily life.  Participants will be guided into writing experiences in which they may reflect upon a personal sense of faith, no matter what their individual practice or expression of that faith may be.

With a non-denominational approach, the workshop participants will be able to examine individual awarenesses of spirituality and how they impact their lives and actions.  The primary aspect of this group experience is to utilize the beauty of the poetic form to delve into this deeper place in the poets' hearts, to create personal prayers for one's own use, and to share the universality of the notion of a Higher Power.

This workshop would be experienced in a progressive series of writing exercises, guided meditation, and group discussion, to complete the process.  After each exercise, a brief period of discussion and sharing of examples of the exercise will be offered.

Focusing on issues of growth and self-expression, as well as looking into the "corners" of personal emotion contributes to an extremely touching and meaningful experience for participants, who are then offered the tool of writing to further examine and often heal those delicate issues within themselves, all in a safe and protected environment.

The ultimate objective is a playful, light workshop experience weaving the nature of poetry and the nature of spiritual devotion together for all participants so that they may continue to use their own poems to heighten their personal connection with their spirit.

Please note:  This workshop could be easily adapted for other durations, such as a weekend event or an all-day workshop.

Silence, Stillness, and the Natural World is a journaling/poetry workshop, participants gather to examine the nature of silence and the natural world.  In other words, just how quiet is it?  In an afternoon or evening session, the workshop participants will be involved in a series of exercises that attune the ear to the sounds of nature and the visions they invoke.  By listening carefully to the natural world around us, we are able to better place ourselves among the living creatures of our planet.  By also taking the next step of investigating the reactions to those sounds, some of which may be rooted in dreams or memory, we can explore a whole realm of imagination and wonder, perhaps even inner adventure.

This class may be tailored to either adults or young people and still offer a rewarding experience of using words to reflect the world we live in and our natural place within it.  For adults, a 2.5 - 3 hour session is recommended; for young people, the optimum timeframe would be 1.5 hours, 2 hours for teens.

Requirements:  Writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, or a blank book or notebook.

Seizing the Moment:  Writing Poetry of Personal Experience

A 6-week poetry workshop for both new writers and those who have been at it for a long time.  The class will include writing exercises in each meeting, focusing on different themes of personal experience, plus critique among the group to allow growth in style and expression for each participant.  Most of all, it will entail having fun with words and allow for telling the stories of our lives in the form of poetry.

In each session, the participants will first be immersed in a writing exercise to open the channels of creative thought.  Each workshop exercise will focus on memory, sensory awareness, and unlocking the door to free self-expression.  The other purpose is to provide a common stimulus to the class and allow them to, in turn, see how personal interpretation and perspective can vary, yet maintain similarity among people, depicting the nature of the individual vs. the universal, a dominant theme to be examined throughout the sessions.

Basic poetic devices will be explained and exercises working with various prosodies and aspects of the craft of writing poetry will also be considered throughout the development of the series to allow the participants an opportunity to play with form and texture within their own poetry.

The overall goal of the series is to delve into the place of memory and personal history to share the human experience, as well as encourage the poets to share the wonderful and profound stories of their lives.

Please note:  This workshop could be easily adapted for shorter durations, such as a weekend event or an all-day workshop. 

Past Workshops

Georgia A. Popoff has presented workshops in  schools, community centers, bookstores, cafes, adult education centers, poetry festivals, and youth detention facilities.  In taking the spirit of poetry and the creative process into a light and relaxed focus, she shows that the heart of a poet does exist within each of us, if we just journey to it.

SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Elementary:

Word Play for Primary Grades

K & 1:  Word Play - The Alphabet Poem.  In the likeness of former Poet Laureate, Robert Pinksy, I have created a poem with each successive words beginning with the letters of the alphabet.  These are individually placed around the room for the children to discover  prior to the residency.  After reading poetry to the children, they are then led on a scavenger hunt to collect the words and piece the poem together.  An active and fun activity to incorporate letter recognition, numbers, word roots, rhyme, and cooperation.

2 & 3:  Word Play – The Poet’s Journey.  This program involves first reading poetry to the class with question and answer about the meanings and the unlimited possibility of expression through poetry, as well as stimulate imagination.  The process of writing their own poetry is then initiated, the goal being to write a poem to send to someone the student knows who lives elsewhere, with discussion as to where each will be mailing their final poem, and marking it on the map, thus including a geography component to the residency.  Basic lessons on prosody, or how a poem is constructed, along with positive commentary and revision of the work, is included, and final performance of the poems within the classroom to encourage pride in the work and confidence in speaking before others.

Intermediate:

Grades 4 – 6:  Word Play – The Poet’s Journey.  The same basic program as above but with greater emphasis on the writing skills.

Planet Peace:  A interdisciplinary group poem experience in which the class is guided to first define the parameters of their own planet, and then create a group poem about that planet, interspersed with lessons  on geography, science, weather, ethics, cooperation, and language arts.  The only two parameters imposed at the onset are that it is a planet of peace and respect.  Otherwise, anything goes!!!  This program proves to be a very animated, imaginative adventure in thought and word.

Middle and High School:

The World of Words:  A basic poetry workshop with immediate writing exercises and the recitation of poems to break down the barriers many students have in creating their own work.  Explanation of the elements of prosody that make a poem different from other literary forms and a reading of the work to encourage students to hone their skills at public speaking are also a part of this creative workshop experience.

Poetry Slam in the Schools:  The current movement of competitive performance poetry is brought to the schools in an ongoing event throughout the day with a slam at last period for the students to strut their poetic voices in the spirit of healthy competition.  This can be incorporated with The World of Words for a longer residency.

The Voice of Politics:  In a combination workshop/lecture experience, the works of poets showing insight to various social movements can be experienced in the classroom, permitting innovative learning for students regarding history, sociology, and American literature, global studies, and the poetry of these influences in particular.  Then, these awarenesses are directly expressed by the writing portion within English classes in the latter portion of the residency period.  At the end of the 5-day residency period, a school assembly program could be offered, involving students as well as the workshop facilitator, to present a reading of the work of noted poets and new student poetry created during the experience to the student population at large.

Teachers’ In-Service Programming

The Community of Syllables and Words:  This discussion shows teachers ways of using poetic forms such as haiku, tanka, and cinquains as a method of bringing young readers to an engaging way of understanding the structure of words and syllables that form language.

Nature and the Poem - Seeing with New Vision:  Nature and the student’s environment are ripe sources of inspiration.  With a series of different suggestions for experiencing the world around them, students are opened not only to new perceptions but exciting poetic possibilities.  This discussion offers creative visualizations, imagination journeys, and exercises to trigger new work.

Breath and the Poem - Demystifying Poetic Structure:  In the last half of the 20th Century, poetry moved from more structured forms and traditions into innovations of free verse.  Contemporary poetry is structured more on the sense of the line and how breath affects the poem in the reading.  Georgia will discuss ways of reading poems from this perspective and teaching students how to scan their own writings to make decisions so it "looks like a poem."  This same basic principle can be taught from the primary grades through high school.

Programs may also be developed and tailored to individual schools and curricula.  More detailed proposals and letters of recommendation available upon request.
 

Feel free to discuss options and programming with Georgia Popoff at (315)  472-8789 or e-mail  angel_light@eathlink.net.  Thank you for your interest in Angel Light workshops.

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Books @ $13.95
Tapes @ $9.95

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