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Writers-Workshop is a literature community group that enocurages writers to explore their writing through a workshop enviroment.

Our team facilitate each writing workshop for you, working behind the scenes to ensure the workshop runs smoothly.
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Until Apr 22, 2015

Founded 8 Years ago
Oct 22, 2006


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1,655 Members
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Welcome to #Writers-Workshop. We're a literature group dedicated to helping our members grow through writing practice, critique and discussion. You can find out more about the group and how our workshops run on the About Us page.

Looking for the rules? You can find out what we expect of our members in the description on the About Us page. You're only likely to incur the wrath of our staff if you disregard the workshop structure (eg. by submitting deviations that aren't for workshops) or otherwise can't be bothered to make an effort. If you're confused about anything, feel free to note the group (or a staff member) and we'll be happy to help.

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Writers' Workshop: FOUND POETRY!

Mon Feb 23, 2015, 6:41 PM
Writer's Workshop
where writers workshop writing!

Welcome to the first workshop of 2015! *confetti*

Hi, I'm PinkyMcCoversong. You can call me Emily. I write all kinds of poetry, but one of my favorite styles is found poetry. So, for the next few weeks, I'll be guiding you through the world of found poetry. Using found poetry techniques is not only one of my favorite ways to write, but it's also a way to give yourself a creative kick in the butt when you're having a hard time revving those engines.

This workshop might be a bit different from previous workshops because 1. there's a LOT to be had in found poetry and I want to give you a taste of a few different methods and 2. I'm hoping that each participant can send us three to six different pieces based on three different featured methods, which I'll describe below.

Here's how we're gonna do this thang:

  • You have until March 1st (when I'll post the first of the how-to journals) to familiarize yourself with the not-required-but-totally-fun-and-useful-recommended reading, as outlined below. You can also read while we write, but it's good to get ahead!
  • There will be THREE how-to journals (one for each of the methods briefly outlined below) over the course of two weeks.
  • After each how-to journal, a folder will open for that method. Place the piece(s) you'd like workshopped into the correct folder. (Remember, you learned things, so put your pieces in the correct folders!
  • Everybody critiques everyone! I really want to see you guys interacting on each other's pieces.
  • At the end of the month, I'll post a round-up with feedback on some of the submitted pieces from each category.
  • -500000 for submitting poetry that IS NOT FOUND.

So. What is found poetry?

Found poetry, in its many forms, uses already existing text (or source texts) to create brand new poetic narratives. There are a few basic types of found poetry from which every other style seems to originate. Over the course of the workshop, we'll be doing in-depth studies of each of three methods, which I'll briefly outline below, with some recommended reading. (Seriously, read! Reading is so good. And fun. And helpful! Especially when trying something new!)

1. Erasure

This is possibly the most common type of found poetry, or at least the most visible. Erasure poetry (sometimes called blackout or whiteout) is created when the author literally erases certain words of a source text, leaving the remaining words and phrases to create something new. You can do this visually, with editing software on your computer or with a sharpie or White-Out on a book/photocopy. Or, you can just write out the words and phrases that you keep into a new document, adding or subtracting punctuation and changing capitalizations, creating new stanza breaks, etc., as long as the words appear in the same order that they appeared in the original text.

Examples on dA:

Recommended offsite reading:

2. Cut-up/Remix

Cut up and remix are two sides of the same coin. While cut-up is sometimes more literal in that poets will take scissors to a text and pull cut out words and phrases at random to take a new text, remix implies a more strategic approach, in which a poet simply uses source material as a limited palette with which to create a new piece. You can use any word that appears in the source text, but you don't have to use the words in the order that they appear, like you do with erasure.

Examples from dA:

you thereyou there;
          my dear sprinkling spirit
             the one soul we know,
                 you have meaning.
                             be the tune/
                     the cause
              our heaven in the forests
                         go there for me
cut up by derkert  The Libra HusbandI.
they can get you
in East Hampton for wearing red shoes
on a Thursday
  I don't know whether you knew
  that--I mean--do you know
it's very hot in New York City
I like the terrible noise
you hear at night and all these terrible
drilling sounds--I never go to sleep 
unless the whole pavement is jumping
outside and it's a hundred degrees
when I go to New York City I see myself
--Where have you been?
--Where have you been?
--Where have you been?
--Where have you been?
this is the revolutionary costume:
I never wear this
in East Hampton.
I'm not gonna spend another winter
in East Hampton--
in the first place I can't
I just can't
I can't spend another winter
out here in the country
I can't do it
I'm telling you--I can't
I can't get my figure back
unless I hit New York City
any little rat's nest
in New York City
any little mouse hole
any little rat hole
even on Tenth Avenue
I would like better
  it's all a question
  of who you want to

Recommended offsite reading:

3. Cento 

This is probably the hardest form of found poetry -- and deceptively so. It might seem easy, because a cento is essentially a stack of quotes from other sources. Some poets collect lines from different poems and put them together as a new poem. Some poets might use lines from novels or newspaper articles. The trick is to create a new narrative in YOUR voice using others' lines and quotes. That's where the difficulty comes in.

Examples from dA:

Hope DivingHope is the thing with feathers
diving for dreams;
we grow accustomed to the dark
and this sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is,
adjusts itself to midnight.
Though the stars walk backward,
I have come after them and made repair.
Eternity floated a blossoming
and he unrolled his feathers
with, "Let us look at the sky."
   Better For Her PraiseBetter For Her Praise
Minerva's snow-white marble eyes
Without the gift of sight;
forever dead and lovely now.
She's glad the birds are gone away
On that disused and forgotten road,
the snow carefully everywhere descending
and they are better for her praise.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
between the woods and frozen lake,
what passed between us, she was only feigning,
she loves the bare, the withered tree.
She thinks I have no eyes for these,
as I have known them passionate and fine.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
and they are better for her praise.
Lines taken from Poems by
E.E. Cummings
Robert Frost
Tom Waits
   Moonrain reverie.I.
March days return with their covert light --
in the wave-strike over unquiet stones,
there, where the waves shatter,
you are the daughter of the sea;
but I like you calm, as if you were absent,
so that you will hear me.
I hunt for a sign of you:
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair --
perhaps not to be is to be without your being.
Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
rest with your dream inside my dream;
and because love battles,
maybe you'll remember that
the tree is here, still, in pure stone.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines:
"I remember you as you were,
in my sky at twilight" --
here, I love you.

Recommended offsite reading:

Down to Business:

During the first week of workshop, we're going to do erasures! Get your source materials ready! Some of my favorite sources are Teen Vogue, sci fi novels, classic literature, and the local newspaper. What will you use?

Still looking for more info on found poetry? Check out Found Poetry Review, which has pretty much everything you ever needed to know on this artform! And definitely feel free to post comments -- I'll answer all of your questions!


When you post your work, if you do any kind of visual presentation, you have to make sure that you black out any text that you are not using as part of your poem. Don't just cross it out, black/white it out completely. You can also use collage elements as part of your presentation, but you also have to use the same rules that would apply to any collage. See this info on collage and copyright. You can also check out the resources on fair use at Found Poetry Review. ALSO, be sure to cite your sources as specifically as possible. For example, if you wrote a poem from a magazine article, cite it the same way you would for a research paper. If you use a book, do the same, and be sure to specify page numbers!

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3 deviants said What you looking for in workshops for 2015?
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Ivy-Orihara Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Everything--Roleplay Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for accepting me to the group! :D 
Jesper6 Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Finished my metamorphosis story, but I forgot about the May 17th deadline. Can I still submit?
(1 Reply)
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