• Home
  • 22Sep_3A: Online Poetry Workshop with Sharon Mesmer

22Sep_3A: Online Poetry Workshop with Sharon Mesmer

  • 22 Sep 2020
  • 19:30 - 20:45
  • online (via Zoom)


Registration is closed

Tuesday 22 September 2020


7:30pm (CET) via Zoom

Accidentally On Purpose: 

Using Chance to Generate New Poetry with Sharon Mesmer

A “chance operation” is a way of beginning a poem that leaves part of your compositional method to chance, to the random coming-together of elements which, ideally, produce surprising new images, ideas and language. While a chance operation can be almost anything (like using the I-Ching or Google search results), we will work with two collaborative methods: word rounds and cut-ups.

With word rounds, our group will generate spontaneous three-word phrases that can be incorporated into the in-class writing; with cut-ups, we will assemble brief fragments of other poets’ texts which can be edited or expanded to create work.

Beat novelist William Burroughs and artist Brion Gysin termed this the “third mind method” — the first mind being the assembler, the second being the original author(s), and the third being the strange organizational principle that allows the work come together in fortuitous ways. All you’ll need is two sheets of paper, a writing implement, and your playful sensibility. Before beginning, we’ll talk a little about the history of chance operations.

Materials needed: For the cut-up, please have on hand a pair of scissors and three pages cut from a magazine, newspaper or book. These can be random pages, but see if you can copy or scan three pages from a book you feel particularly close to. Often, material you’re drawn to works best with this practice. We’ll do the cut-up during our meeting. For the word rounds, just have a piece of paper or your journal handy.

Sign up at genevawriters@gmail.com  

Payments can be made online via the GWG website

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software