January Jump-Start Poetry Experience

January Jump-Start Online Poetry Experience: January 2017


In the aftermath of the election and flurry of disturbing news that’s followed, many people are struggling to write. Thus, we offer this intensive generative course during the month of January for everyone who chose “Starting writing again” as their New Year’s Resolution – and everyone else, too. The class will be priced at an all-time low of $100. Two scholarships will be made available for interested parties for whom this price is a barrier (email the address listed below).

The course is designed for both beginner poets who would like to explore poetry for enjoyment and personal interest (or the need for new expressive outlet as of late) – along with anyone who would like to return to writing poetry after our period of collective shock. The class will exclusively involve generating new poems.

Participants will receive model poems from the instructor with description of key themes and analysis, and detailed instructions for creating their own poems in response. We will write two new poems a week on a flexible, asynchronous schedule, meaning that participants will not have to log on at a particular time of the day or week.

This is not a critique-based class. 

Responses to others’ poems will be voluntary and strictly complimentary. This class will be a safe space for people to explore or reconnect with their creative life, to write back against the hate crimes and intolerance we are currently experiencing, and to celebrate the diverse backgrounds and viewpoints that actually make America great. Therefore, all model poems for this course will be chosen from poets belonging to groups that have been targeted with crimes and abuse since the election, and trolls will be ejected posthaste.


We will have four one-week sessions that will begin on Sunday and end on Saturday. On Sunday and Wednesday, the instructor will email a model poem with discussion and a detailed exercise. During the following three days, everyone will work on a poem. The class will be organized into teams of around five members, and everyone will send each poem to their team. Complimentary responses will be optional, but the primary focus of this class will be to enjoy writing  within a supportive community.


Sunday, January 1 through Saturday, January 28 (Plus a surprise twist at the end!)


A computer and internet connection, an email account, 5 hours a week, and a desire to explore or “jump-start” poetry and your own creative process and unique voice.

Cost & Registration

$100 paid via PayPal to mpcollins2@gmail.com by Friday, December 30.


Michael Collins is a gifted teacher and poet, and the coordinator of Why There Are Words-NYC. His poems have received Pushcart Prize nominations and appeared in more than 60 journals and magazines, including Grist, Kenning Journal, Pank, and Smartish Pace. His first chapbook, How to Sing when People Cut off your Head and Leave it Floating in the Water, won the Exact Change Press Chapbook Contest in 2014. He is also the author of the chapbook Harbor Mandala and the full-length collection, Psalmandala. He lives in New York with his wife and son and teaches creative and expository writing at New York University.