Observational Writing Practice
To what extent do we overlook the details of a typical day, amidst our routines? How can the mundane actually signal larger implications and patterns? How might one adjust their perspective to look for and see these details and patterns? In this workshop, we will consider these questions as a way to practice writing. We will read prose and poetry to frame our thinking about writing and perception, and we will complete interactive and experiential writing prompts to get our words on the page. Our writing will be rooted in an observational practice, where we take notes everyday (even when we’re not in class), paying deliberate attention to things we might normally overlook. We will also think about how we are reacting to and thinking about those things. These notes will form the basis for our writing. From these notes, we will then compose, workshop and edit poems.
Robert Balun teaches creative writing and literature at the City College of New York, where he received his MFA in 2014. His first collection of poems, Acid Western, will be published by the Operating System in 2020, and recent work has appeared in Powder Keg, Prelude, Barrow Street, Apogee and other places. He is a recipient of the Teacher-Writer Award, the Jerome Lowell Dejur Prize and a Sydney Jacoff Fellowship from CCNY, as well as scholarships from the Home School, the Garrison Institute and the CUNY School of Journalism.