"Every time you start a new poem, you're at point zero," Fran Quinn says. "Otherwise what you're doing is rewriting the last poem." Fran Quinn
Quinn, a poet who also happens to be a master teacher, might as well be talking about life. Or his life, anyway. After leaving Butler University, where he was poet-in-residence, Quinn has embarked on a new course, offering workshops to adults who either write poetry or who want to learn to express themselves through this artform. For the past year, Quinn has been offering his three-day workshops to people in New York City, Boston and Indianapolis. The response has far exceeded his expectations, with workshops filling in Boston and New York and with participants ranging from beginners to published and award-winning writers.
"The motivation is to try and get going for the beginning writer," he says, "and the motivation for the older writer is to find a new part of themselves they haven't explored yet."
Quinn's workshops are designed to provide poets with two elements that he considers essential to the creative process: a community of fellow writers and a personal sense of voice. Workshop participants benefit, Quinn says, from "being in a community that's willing to listen hard to whatever your voice is so that it gets clearer and clearer."
Quinn, whose latest book of poems, Grapes in Late Summer, is being edited by Robert Bly for Blue Sofa Press, says that he expected his workshops to attract beginning writers, but was taken aback when he found that the sessions were also drawing poets with considerable experience. "It's been very exciting."
The workshops are offered on an ongoing, monthly basis throughout the year. Registration for a three-day session is $200. For more information, go to franquinnworkshops.com, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-926-6339.