ModPo

First, the photo is an example of what I do when I am not writing.  That’s not to say it’s like doing dishes or changing the sheets.  It’s what I do instead of writing.  Many, many things fall into this category, but one big bucket is called “fiber arts.”  The August/September issue of Quilting Arts magazine offers the opportunity for an Artists Trading Card (ATC) exchange:  make one, get one.  QA encouraged makers to use ideas from the issue.  One woman, Diane Savona, wrote about her work in an article titled, “Under the Surface Embellishment.”  She takes found objects, covers them with hand-dyed fiber and stitches them in place.  That sounds simpler than it is.  I spent probably six hours stitching my little 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch piece.  Savona’s work is the most unique and inventive I’ve seen in the quilting field.

The other thing that has started to occupy my time is ModPo.  I heard a segment on NPR at the end of September about a free on-line course in Modern Poetry.  The class had started and work in the kitchen was in a state of chaos, so I filed the thought.  Yesterday I was perusing NPR’s website and saw a link to Coursera at www.coursera.org    There is a schedule of nearly 200 free courses offered by universities all over the country.  I signed up for the University of Pennsylvania’s class in Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, taught by Al Filreis.

It’s a 10 week class and since I joined late I have not taken exams or written papers, but the site will be up for a year longer for people who enrolled.  There are links to discussion videos where Al and seven students discuss poems in detail, plus links to written and audio poems, additional reading, discussion forums, etc., etc.  The class starts with Emily Dickenson and Walt Whitman as pre-modernists and starts to trace their influence through the 20th century to today.  It’s a great opportunity and … free!

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