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Writing the Personal Essay and Poetry

Sorry, this class has been cancelled.

Date & Time: August 20, 3-4:30pm
Registration Deadline: August 17

In this workshop, we will gather ideas for writing, craft the ideas into personal essay and poetry formats, and end with a celebration read-around. There will be time for writing. We will end with brief suggestions and websites for publishing personal essays and poetry for those interested.

Memoir poetry chapbooks are short collections of memory poems that may be very personal or focused with family and friends in mind as holiday gifts with a personal touch. Weather permitting, we’ll spend a small part of our workshop outside in nature looking and note-taking for “distance” in our ideas. Back inside, we will share ideas, look “through the lens” of poetry, and practice enjambment. What is enjambment? It’s used in art and music, but it shines most brightly in poetry! We will discuss poetry line breaks and punctuation, although you are free to break any of these rules in your writing and have fun with it!

Some of us may prefer to write in a personal essay format. We will compare the styles of poetry and essay to decide which voice works best for your topic and what you want to say.

After writing time, each writer will choose a line or paragraph written on this day to share with the group in celebration. Comments will be encouraging and positive. If you are uncomfortable, you may choose to listen only.

Patricia Duffy is a writing instructor at Mott Community College in Flint. She is the author of the novel Give or Take and a new poetry collection Driftwood Fire. She gains writing inspiration from Michigan cycling trails and her writer’s group, Instructors as Writers. Duffy is also a voracious reader and cook.

Pencil, paper

Clipboard or something firm for outside note-taking

Comfortable layered clothing

Optional – charged laptop for word processing

The instructor will supply handouts

Minimum Enrollment
Glen Arbor Arts Center reserves the right to cancel any class or multi-day, sequential-day workshop that does not meet its minimum student enrollment prior to the first class session. If a class is cancelled by GAAC for lack of enrollment, GAAC will offer a full refund to the student in the manner in which tuition was paid (Cash payments will be refunded by check). Please be aware that GAAC is not responsible for losses incurred due to housing, travel or other arrangements.

Requests for cancellation by the student at least seven (7) days prior to the first day of class will be honored (minus a $20 processing fee). NO REFUNDS will be given for a student cancellation made less than seven (7) days in advance of the day of the class.


To ensure the safety of our students and staff, we have implemented new procedures for our 2021 programs, to mitigate the spread of COVID and still allow participants to have a wonderful time creating art.

Class sizes will be limited to 12 persons or less for outdoor programs and 8 or less for indoor programs.
All students must wear face coverings inside the center when social distancing isn’t possible.
Students and staff will wash and sanitize hands frequently throughout the day.
Common areas and touched surfaces will be sanitized regularly.

To keep pace with the evolving conditions related to the pandemic, any new policies or procedures for classes will be communicated by June 15, 2021.


August 20, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Glen Arbor Arts Center
6031 S Lake St
Glen Arbor, MI 49636 United States
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Patricia Duffy
In Person

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