Renegade Writers Workshop



We have a writing group that meets in the Acadiana area called Renegade Writers. We meet every other Saturday to write new together. It is not a critique group. We draw names of the willing to choose a workshop leader and that person is responsible for the prompts and securing a location. Really, the leader can do anything they want to get us writing. It’s a blessed thing. Today I led the group. Below is my outline for the workshop I presented. I have linked the titles to sites where the books can be purchased. I hope to work on the pieces I developed in my participation in the workshop and post them tonight.

Please credit Clare L. Martin if you use these in a workshop. ©2016, Clare L. Martin

Sheryl St. Germain, The Journals of Scheherazade

Poem: “How to Write a Poem”

The poem gives a formula for writing a poem. We followed that formula.

4 nouns
4 verbs
A secret
A secret within a secret


Dana Guthrie Martin, The Spare Room: Poems About Survival (I could not find a link for this title to be purchased.  Limited edition chapbook).

Poem: “On the Long Narrow Stem of Life”
“this is where it starts and this is where it ends”

Think of a “conclusion” and make it your beginning. It could be a decision, a death, or reaching a destination. Take the poem anywhere, even into the realm of fantasy or horror. End with how it changed you, how you survived, and repeat your first line as the ending.

Susan Tepper, dear Petrov

“Floods” and “The Scarf”

Describe a falling down house. Scour every decaying inch with your mind’s eye. Consider the smells, the layers of dirt and dust. See every cracked pane of glass. Now, in this house, something miraculous exists. What is it? Start your poem from this.

Louise Glück, Ararat
Poem: “A Novel”

“Like echoes, the women last longer.”

Think of five inanimate objects that possess durability. Write a sentence for each word, without linking the sentences logically. Use these sentences to build metaphors for the hardiness of women.

Margaret Atwood,  Morning in the Burned House

Poem: “A Sad Child”

1) Try to remember your first heartbreak that was not a romantic one. Write a few cursory facts about the memory. Go deeper to your tender child-self and put words to the pain in one sentence.

2) Now, take this memory and the one sentence and create a list of images of the harshness of nature or physical aspects of urban life. From your one sentence and the imagistic phrases write a poem that can create dissonance in the tone while communicating the heartbreak.