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Layne Longfellow Feelings Into Words Writers Workshops

The Course Summary:
(This is a sample - a full course summary is available to interested parties upon request. Click here to contact us.)

Feeling Into Words

Writing for the Page, Reading for the Ear
Writing in Private, Reading in Public

This workshop springs from a rejoinder by Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States:

“Audiences teach you the difference between what reads well on the page and what reads well to the ear.”

He said this in a reading at Harvard, having been “accused” by an audience member of not reading his poems exactly the way he had published them.

And so to our first homework assignment:

  • We'll each do a self-Introduction, via a 60-90 second reading of a piece of our own writing that speaks from our "voice."

Each participant offers, to each participant, responses written on two index cards:

  • One card -- Don’t change this for anything
  • Second card -- Consider this change

Time for digestion of feedback privately, then rereading, incorporating suggestions. .....


  • Let no emphasis that we have placed on delivery and style subvert this principle: Delivery is always in service of content. 
  • The best speaker is the unslick, unsmooth, nonprofessional who loves the material and is at one with that material - the sincere, unpolished authority.
  • This puts the attention on the material being delivered, not on the delivery of the material. 
  • Delivery is always in service of content.

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