This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Start of Course: Rules of Thumb


Welcome to “Breaking the Rules: A Poetry Workshop.”  I’m so amped for this course!  We’ll get down to brass tacks shortly, but first some points of order about how we’ll work, conduct in the course and licensing. Without further ado...

How we’ll work.  We’ll post everything in the space allotted to each task by Sunday of each week. Usually, folks can post 1/week more than they can make a weekly meeting.  So our calendar will be:

Week 1: Rules of thumb 7/19/2011-7/30/2011
Week 2: Introductions 8/1/2011-8/7/2011
Week 3: Abstract v. Concrete 8/8/2011-8/21/2011
Week 4: Intentions 8/22/2011-8/28/2011
Week 5: Voice & Tone 8/29/2011-9/4/2011
Week 6: The Mark: Climax and Resolution 9/5/2011-9/11/2011

Code of conduct. Successful P2PU courses rely on several elements.  I wanted to provide some hints, tips and recommendations on how to have a good experience in the course.
1.) Be gentle.  P2PU is all about discussing and diverging.  But always be polite.
2.) Make your voice heard. Share it with the group if you have suggested improvements.  For every week, please feel free to add more example poems if you know a better example.  These tasks are open to collaboration, so jump in.
3.) Participate each week. That means posting your version of the poem, commenting on another peer’s piece, and augmenting the conversation with links to other poems, etc.
4.) P2PU is both informal and serious.  Activities are proposed here--post them whenever you like during the week, but be committed to it.
5.) Have fun! Writer’s block sucks. This course is meant to jolt those creative juices into flowing.  And working together can be way more useful than toiling away at a blank page.

The license for all of P2PU is Creative Commons Share Alike.  This writing space is public, and archived after completion. This piece is vital to future learners and a sustainable P2PU!

Also, we welcome sharing the work of other poets if we can locate it freely around the web (in accordance with Code for Best Practices for Fair Use in Poetry). There’s a lot out there, especially at the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and in online magazines and blogs.  There’s tons out there for us to share and talk about!

Let’s get going!  I’ll post Task 2 for those who are eager to get started.

Task Discussion