Course Description: The Poets of Islam: A Pen & Paper Love-In

                                                                                        Poem-Making With Jim Moreno (760) 802-2449

Sunday, May 26, 2019 @ San Diego Writers, Ink,

2730 Historic Decatur Rd., #202, San Diego, CA 92106

Register by clicking on the following link: 

     In this class, for beginning to seasoned poets, can we as writers from different walks of life, different cultures, different religions, albeit all in love with language, embody in our writing, as William Stafford sought, "the unanalyzed impressions of holiness that the world thrusts at us.” The writing in this workshop will help participants counter the xenophobic, racist shallowness, perpetrated through the media, that neglects the basic human need for belonging that the people of our country, and all people desire. Racism is always about making profits for those of the tribe of hate & greed. It is good to counter and reverse this poison with art.

     I'm very disturbed about the violence against our brothers and sisters of Islam, innocents being slaughtered because of hate and ignorance proselytized by the leadership of our country.  That is not my America.  In this poetry workshop participants will delve into poets of Islam, starting with the Sufi mystic Rumi, who wrote extensively against religious persecution. We'll also review writing from Islamic poets who resonate with the themes of love, tolerance, and respect for all people, all cultures. That is my America. I think there are more of you, more of my America, sitting in silence, that resonate with this consciousness that brought 900 years of peace to Spain when the Moors were the leaders.

     The first segment of this poem-making class will focus on the poets of Islam from writings imbued with symbols and metaphors developing many of the central themes of Sufism: the Lover, the Beloved, the Wine, and the Tavern; to contemporary poets which include Mahmoud Darwish, Great Britain Poet Laureate nominee Imtiaz Dharker, a self-described Scottish, Muslim, Calvinist, and local poet Shidab Zeest Hashmi (whose Facebook page inspired much of this workshop). The second segment will gather poems from poets of other cultures which resonate with the love/tolerance/kindness themes of Islam, e.g. William Stafford, Mary Oliver, Jane Hirshfield, Li Young Lee, and others.

     We'll also take some time to further explore composing poems from the structure of the Japanese Haibun where poetic prose is blended with haiku. This form enhances storytelling with image, memory, mystery, and charm. I was astounded by the beauty of the Haibun poetry in April's workshop by the poets who attended.

     Kindly remember this is not a critique workshop or a workshop to find your audience. I will encourage participants to publish their poems from this workshop but we are not trying to find your audience. We want to amplify writing from your heart in a Container of respect, safety, & reprieve.

     Jim Moreno is the author of Dancing in Dissent: Poetry For Activism (Dolphin Calling Press, 2007) and two cd's of poetry & music. He is a Teaching Artist & on the Program Committee of San Diego Writers, Ink. Moreno is on the Advisory Board of the Poetic Medicine Institute in Palo Alto, California. Jim enjoys serving as a Regional Editor with the San Diego Poetry Annual. Mr. Moreno is a Teaching Artist with Arts For Learning where he was voted the Residency Teaching Artist of the Year in 2016-17. Moreno serves as the Poet-In-Residence for the Gateway Program of the Educational Cultural Complex. Jim also teaches in Juvenile Hall where his adjudicated students have won over $1700 in publishing and contest awards since 2007. 55 of his teenage students are published in this year's edition of the San Diego Poetry Annual. Jim hosts 2nd Sunday Jihmye Poetry Open Mic at The Spacebar Cafe & Wine Bistro, an open mic for music and spoken word in La Mesa. Contact Jim at,, or Instagram.






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