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Sharpened Visions

A Poetry Workshop

Why just write poems when you can write better ones? This course is built on the notion that the most exciting writing begins after the first draft. It is specifically for folks who believe that writing poems just to express oneself is like using the Internet just for email. After all, poetry can change the way you and your readers think of the world and its inhabitants; it can break new ground for language; turn a blank sheet of paper into a teeming concert of voices and music. Though any of us may have the potential to make that happen, having an understanding of how several tools of poetic composition can be used (and audaciously “mis-used”) gives you more ways to try (and if we do this right, we might surprise ourselves most of all). We'll cover key poetic terms and devices by studying poems by a handful of modern and contemporary poets and then get a chance to try our own hand at writing new poem drafts from a select number of prompts. Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to workshop your poem drafts and get feedback on your work, working towards a more polished poem.

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California Institute of the Arts

Rating 4.7 based on 283 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Effort 4-5 hours of lessons and assessments
Starts Apr 22 (5 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From California Institute of the Arts via Coursera
Instructor Douglas Kearney
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Art & Design Humanities
Tags Arts And Humanities Music And Art

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What people are saying

We analyzed reviews for this course to surface learners' thoughts about it

so much in 15 reviews

It seems to make everything so much more understandable and even though I a far from being a kid, the screen glossary intros, then sample poems, it has impact.

I had so much fun going through the videos, learning the basics, and workshopping my poems.

Thank you so much!

I love this course, Sharpened Visions, so much.

His video lectures are so much fun to watch that I find myself wishing that his course would last forever.

He made it so much fun, that I found myself laughing out loud several times.

I learned so much.

There is so much to learn and so many opportunities to help you improve your writing.

peer review in 13 reviews

As a shy person, I was a bit worried about the peer reviews, but everyone was friendly and helpful!

I feel the peer review aspect could be strengthened.

It's a lot of fun to study this course, especially the peer review could be very rewarding and entertaining.

of using peer reviews to pass the class.

I don't know who finally passed me, I think the peer review process is a shambles, and it lets Coursera personnel out of the process of doing grading and opens a can of worms with an incompetent peer reviewer having the power to not pass me.

I don't think I will be taking creative writing classes again at Coursera, as going through that broken peer review process and having one mentor being off the wall just wasn't worth my time and anxiety.

I enjoyed this course so much i wish it didn't have to end.The peer review experience in this course is completely fun and enriching.Even if you think you'd be terrible at writing poetry, just give it a go!

I learned so many new things about writing poetry both from the professor and the peer reviews.

highly recommend in 11 reviews

Highly recommended.

Highly recommended for new and seasoned poets.

Sharpened Visions is really highly recommended.

This was such a fun class, I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn about poetry.

I would highly recommend it to anyone.

As a former English teacher I highly recommend this for introduction, review, or refinement, to accompany a poetry unit ages 16 and up.

I highly recommend this for anyone looking to improve their poetry or learn about poetry!

douglas kearney in 10 reviews

I am so surprised by the exuberance and humor of Mr. Douglas Kearney.

Those technical term had seemed to be very academic and boring to me before I take this course, but Mr. Douglas Kearney uses another interesting and easier ways to teach and describe.

Thank you, Douglas Kearney and all fellow students!

I'd like to thank M. Douglas Kearney, Calarts and Coursera for this course.

Prof. Douglas Kearney is an excellent and entertaining instructor with a lot of wisdom to impart.

Douglas Kearney is the best teacher I ever had.

This is one of the most enjoyable classes I've taken on Coursera, and it's all Douglas Kearney's fault.

Douglas Kearney is the coolest of them all instructors :) Nice course!

peer reviews in 8 reviews

I assume that instructor involvement in project revision is impossible in this kind of online course; but perhaps, if the issue is that people aren't getting their work reviewed, there could be an incentive for reviewers, for example, get an instructor/mentor review, if you submit at least, say, 10 thorough peer reviews.

Peer reviews can be a gamble.

Would love to see more peer reviews (didn't get any on my poems yet).

Best of luck!Katya A wonderful opportunity to learn about poetry and to participate in peer reviews of poetry.

Writing something so different on a subject so seemingly mundane, really cemented in my mind the possibility of writing poetry about anything, whilst filtering it through perception and imagination.Another aspect of the course that stands out for me are the peer reviews: both giving and receiving.

There were some technical and navigational aspects of the website I struggled with: finding peer reviews, and lack of reviewers at certain times so having to reset deadlines, but the moderators stepped in very quickly.Even though the course has finished, I will still tackle some of the prompts not completed within the timeframe, due to deadlines (or as someone on the forums endearingly termed them - ‘deathlines’!)

really enjoyed in 8 reviews

I had always shied away from formal poetic forms, preferring free verse, but I really enjoyed writing the crown cinquain.

great fun I really enjoyed this course.

The analysis of the poems was great, and I really enjoyed the poems covered in the course.The writing prompts are the hardest and most time consuming part of the course.

I've really enjoyed exploring poetry during this course!

I really enjoyed the course.

I really enjoyed this course.

I really enjoyed the course and would even consider taking it again!

i really enjoyed the whole class thank you I see in some reviews that people find Mr Kearney's dramatics a bit annoying...


An overview of related careers and their average salaries in the US. Bars indicate income percentile.

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HCQ&D Project Coordinator w/Technical Writing $41k

Coordinator, Basic Writing $45k

Writing and Math Tutor $48k

Poetry Writing Instructor $49k

Independent Writing and Editing Professional 2 $50k

Writing in the Disciplines Mentor $57k

Instructor of English Composition & Creative Writing $59k

Writing Tutor Consultant Lead $76k

Technical Writing/Business Analyst $82k

Professor of Legal Writing; Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing $82k

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California Institute of the Arts

Rating 4.7 based on 283 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Effort 4-5 hours of lessons and assessments
Starts Apr 22 (5 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From California Institute of the Arts via Coursera
Instructor Douglas Kearney
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Art & Design Humanities
Tags Arts And Humanities Music And Art

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