In the Palm of Your Heart:
From The Activist Pen of Steve Kowit
Poem-Making With Jim Moreno
Part III of a 3 Part Series
Sunday, June 25, 2017, 10:00 A.M. To 1:00 P.M.
San Diego Writers, Ink, 2730
Historic Decatur Rd., #202, San Diego, CA 92106
Register by clicking on the following
In April of this year, Part I of this three part series with City Heights Poet Jim Moreno delved into the elements
of the memoir poem blended with social justice themes as prescribed by master teacher Steve Kowit in his mentoring book In the Palm of Your
Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop, (Tilbury House, 1995).
Participants received prompts from such prominent poets as Dorianne Laux & Wislawa Szymborska as well as Steve Kowit's
In May, Part II explored elements of the prose poem resonating with memoir and activism.
Participants experienced the magic of the ordinary becoming extraordinary by exercising the literary muscles of coherence,
emotion, story, clarity, recollection, and revision. Writers in this workshop heard Moreno echo the literary stance of critic
Kowit against the “difficult poem” as espoused by Steve in his Poetry International essay, The Mystique of the
Difficult Poem. In that essay we poets were warned against “bilious, academic flapdoodle” which allows the writer's
ego to inflate to heights of arrogance, exclusivity, and self-aggrandizement, anathema to Kowit consciousness of lucidity
and “genuine communicated perception.”
In June's third installment of Kowit consciousness (and
he probably would be uncomfortable with a reference to himself in that way) Moreno will attempt to echo the craft lessons
of Chapter 4, Shards of Memory, & Chapter 22, The Body Politic, from In the Palm of Your Hand. In the latter, mentor Kowit writes: Since it is the job of writers
to bear witness to the truth, and the habit of writers to read widely, think deeply, and seek their own counsel rather than
adopt the propaganda of their leaders and the self-serving rationalizations of their fellow citizens, it should not be surprising
that writers find themselves in mortal opposition to the state apparatus.
We might also add to this thinking that
many of us writers today are in moral opposition to local, state and national consciousness which does not reflect our values
but tries to legislate policies inimical to those values and wed to profits over people. A policy Steve would oppose, in
his words, with “lapidary clarity”.
Jim Moreno will alert you to how this is not a critique workshop. Instead,
Moreno will create a safe writing mileau for poets in this palm of your heart writing workshop. You will leave with 1-3 poems
that he will encourage you to submit for publishing because, again in Steve's words, you wrote in community with brother
and sister poets in love with “genuinely complex, textured, multilayered, exploratory, intuitive, and profoundly insightful
poetry.” For the beginning or seasoned poet.