The International
Women's Writing Guild

Free Write with Kai Coggin
Writing the Open Letter Poem:
A Generative Workshop

November 5, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

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What is an open letter?

An open letter is a letter, often critical, addressed to a particular person or group of people but intended to be widely distributed to a wider audience. The letter does not usually get a reply, but it is written to shed light on a subject, an individual, or a group as a form of protest or grievance. It can also be used for praising and honoring something or someone.

IWWG Free Write attendees will read a selection of poetry with examples of the Open Letter. We will discuss various aspects of form, craft, and attention to figurative language used by the different poets in the packet, and finish with time to write an Open Letter poem from a selection of prompts provided by Kai. There will be time for sharing at the end.

Kai Coggin is the author of four poetry collections, most recently MINING FOR STARDUST (FlowerSong Press 2021) and INCANDESCENT (Sibling Rivalry Press 2019). She is a queer woman of color who thinks Black Lives Matter, a teaching artist in poetry with the Arkansas Arts Council, and the host of the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country—Wednesday Night Poetry. Recently awarded the 2021 Governor’s Arts Award and named “Best Poet in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times, her fierce and powerful poetry has been nominated four times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, Cultural Weekly, SOLSTICE,Bellevue Literary Review, Entropy, SWWIM, Sinister Wisdom, Lavender Review, Luna Luna, Blue Heron Review, Tupelo Press, West Trestle Review, and elsewhere. Coggin is Associate Editor at The Rise Up Review. She lives with her wife and their two adorable dogs in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Free Write with Andie Cranford

How Writing is Like a Hot-Dog Eating Contest:  Deliberate Practice and the Craft of Writing

October 8, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

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Have you ever made a goal only to give it up after a week or two? Has life ever weaseled in and ruined an established routine? Have you ever wanted to get better at writing, but didn’t know where to start?

This free write is for you.

Deliberate practice is like the secret handshake of champions, a set of behaviors scientists have found leads to expertise in many fields.

I scoured the research of psychologists like K. Anders Ericsson and Angela Duckworth as well as writers like Geoff Colvin, David Epstein, Malcolm Gladwell, and Daniel Coyle to extract all the juicy bits, anything that applied to the writing process. This course is the result. I break writing down into practicable chunks that lead to better novels, poetry, and short stories

Instead of wading through dozens of conflicting books on building a writing routine, you will have the tools to maintain a consistent writing schedule, improve the content of your writing, and meet all your writing milestones.

Writing is a craft—one we can learn—and this is the way science says it is done.

Andie Cranford is the executive editor of The Narrative ARC, an online resource for writers where she teaches workshops on the craft of writing. A professional copywriter and copyeditor with over ten years of experience, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Memphis. Andie is currently working on her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Lesley University. When she’s not writing, you can find her listening to audiobooks as she renovates and restores every room in her 100-year-old house.

Free Write with Tanya Ko Hong (고현혜

Poetry Workshop: The Joy of Creation

October 22, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

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 “Art? You just do it” Martin Ritt

Art is everywhere and you can create a poem or story from just about anything. Have you ever written a poem from a list? Have you ever used your senses in your writing? Have you ever stared at the pictures on the wall and wondered what they meant to you? Have you tried to tell your life story in just a few words?

Tanya will show how to use your shopping lists to create poetry; how to compose poems using your six senses; how to look at the pictures on the wall and turn them into memory poems, and how to reduce down your thoughts into a 45 word poem, even a 6 word poem! 

Tanya will share her joy of being in the magical realm of poem creation. 

Tanya (Hyonhye) Ko Hong is a bilingual Korean American poet and translator.

Tanya is the author of four poetry collections, most recently The War Still Within: Poems of the Korean Diaspora(KYSO Flash Press, 2019), written primarily in English. Before that, she published Mother to Myself (Prunsasang Press, 2015) in Korean, Yellow Flowers on a Rainy Day (Oma Books of the Pacific, 2003) in English, and Generation One Point Five (Esprit Books, 1993)in Korean with English translations.Her poetry appears in Rattle, Beloit Poetry Journal, Entropy, Cultural Weekly, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly (published by The Feminist Press), the Choson Ilbo, The Korea Times, and the Aeolian Harp Series Anthology, among others. 

Tanya was the first Korean-American recipient of the Yun Doon-ju Korean-American Literature Award. Her segmented poem, “Comfort Woman,” won the 11th Moon Prize from Writing in a Woman’s Voice and received an honorable mention from the Women’s National Book Association. She was a finalist for Frontier’s Chapbook Contest and the Ko Won Literature Award, and a semi-finalist in the Jack Grapes Poetry Contest. She has received grants from the Korean Cultural Center, the Daesan Foundation, and Poets & Writers.

Born and raised in South Korea, Tanya emigrated to the United States at the age of eighteen. She writes in both English and Korean, and she currently translates the work of Arthur Sze into Korean. She has written on parenting, culture, marriage and women’s issues as a columnist for Korea Daily since 1998, and has taught Korean language, creative writing, and bilingual writing workshops to both Korean and English audiences. She has organized dozens of multicultural literary events in Southern California, and has been a literary talk show host. Tanya’s poems have been translated into Korean, Japanese, Bosnian and Albanian.

Weaving together two cultures, Tanya’s poetry gives voice to multiple generations of Korean and Korean-American women. Her most recent collection, The War Still Within includes a well-researched and vividly imagined sequence of poems based on the experiences of the Korean “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

Tanya is a Ph.D. student in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She also holds a post-MFA teaching certificate from Antioch University and a BA in sociology from Biola University.

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