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Reminders of the “ground rules” of a workshop conference are written out on the Workshopping a Poem document. First, focus on the positive. We want to discuss the positive aspects of the poem so the writer can build on those strengths. Remember to take notes on the parts of the poem you enjoy as well as the ones you think would benefit from revision. Be specific with your feedback and avoid basic comments like I liked it without expanding on what exactly you like about the poem. Show the writer that you put effort into your comments and you were an active reader. One of the most helpful things you can do during a critique is to ask the writer questions, which some workshops refer to as wonderings, so you can begin questions with I wonder…and go from there. Another reminder is that when you are getting feedback on your poem, remain quiet. I urge you to take notes and write down questions you might have based on the feedback you are getting. After comments are made, you can certainly talk about your piece after. Time for workshopping poetry…don’t you knowetry!
Refer to the Workshopping a Poem when workshopping today.