Playing with Words: Having Fun with Poetry
A four part series presented by Ann Hostetler

April 19, 21, 26 & 28 @ 2:00 pm - online

This four-session class will offer tools to readers who are intimidated by poetry, as well as to those who already enjoy it. Our focus will be modern and contemporary poems. The instructor, a published poet and long-time professor of English and creative writing, will provide lively examples that invite all readers to “connect.” No prior experience with poetry required! Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to experiment with putting their own images into words. We will also explore the ways in which reading poetry together can enriching our sense of the writer’s text and create community among readers. Students will come away with an enhanced enjoyment of poetry and tools for continuing their own reading, writing, and confidence to create poetry reading groups with each other.

Session One: What is poetry? – We will read some poems together to explore and expand our assumptions about what poetry is.
Session Two: Welcoming possibility -- We will read and respond to poems that invite readers to explore and connect with diverse perspectives through word and image.
Session Three: Reading in community -- We will experiment with a technique called “collaborative close reading” in which we share our interpretations of a poem with each other while staying connected to the poet’s words and silences.
Session Four: Sharing your words and Images -- Throughout the class students will be encouraged to jot down their own words and images in response to the poems we read. While sharing your own poems is not required, this class will offer an opportunity for those who have chosen to write their own poems to share their work with the class. (In the unlikely instance that students will not want to share, the instructor will share her own work with the class.)

About the Presenter
Ann Hostetler is the author of two collections of poetry, Safehold (2018) and Empty Room with Light (2002), and the editor of A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry (Iowa 2003). Her poems have appeared in The American Scholar, Nimrod, Quiddity, Poet Lore, and many other journals and anthologies. She is professor of English Emerita at Goshen College in Goshen, IN where she taught literature and creative writing for 22 years. She edits the Journal of Mennonite Writing at
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