As part of Newtown Literary's Free Writing Workshop series, author Joseph Legaspi led a class on the theme of place in poetry.
Every poem needs a strong sense of place, real or imaginary, organic or ethereal. Mr. Legaspi, using readings and writing prompts helped participants to evoke the idea of place in poetry, and locate self in the writing of the poem.
In a three part free writing exercise, he called on the writers to tap into memory, culture, and history, concentrating on sensory descriptions. He stressed the importance of specificity in devising their particular stories. Participants wrote about actual places; rituals from their past; and specific rooms from their imagination. Then to conclude, they crafted a poem combining the details of each into a cohesive whole that reflected their understanding of place and how it informed the poem itself.
Newtown Literary offers free writing classes for kids and adults on Saturdays from November through May throughout Queens in conjunction with the Queens Public Library system.