A Testimonial for Refining Your Poetry Writing
The workshop has been invaluable to me. I had "set
aside" my intellectual self for too long, not reading
much and certainly not writing. Since the workshop, I've
been in the public library looking up poets and poetry mentioned
by Tom Daley and by other classmates. I've started a rough
journal to record passing phrases and ideas. And Tom's encouraging,
honest, and thorough commmentary of my poems has allowed
me to take myself as seriously as he does.
I think Tom's diligent, dedicated reading of all of our
poems is instructive. I know that when he admits to being
confused by one of my poems or someone else's, that it is
not to be taken lightly. A rewrite is in order. (Whenever
I was confounded by someone's poem, I knew that Tom would--after
researching historical allusions, mythological creatures,
and just plain unusual vocabulary--come up with a possible
I'm impressed by the amount of time Tom put into his lectures
and commentary. His responses to our poems were, in fact,
complete essays that included the full text of poems he
thought would be instructive. I appreciated that he sometimes
included examples of Syliva Plath's poetry in commenting
on my poems (trying to show me how I could have done it
a bit better), someone I had said I admired in my own Personal
Description. The depth and breadth of his knowledge of poetry
is impressive--he can and does relate student poems to both
giants of poetry and to current poets writing today.
The lectures were extremely helpful to me; I love to learn
anything new and I ate them up. They are certainly "graduate-level"
instruction, and I feel like I got a big "bang"
for my buck.
I loved it when a discussion of a poem really got going
with people arguing or commenting back and forth. I wish
I'd commented more on other people's poems because I know
how appreciative (and just plain excited) I was when a class
member took the time to comment and think about my poem.
to Tom's workshop page