NOW LIVE! magazine features the writing of the students of Laura Lentz’s


This Issue: The Universe & You

The Poetry Room: the magic of poetic form in Memoir

Why Seek Out Poetry if I’m a storyteller? a 6-session Poetic Writing Exploration 

Author and poet Stephanie Burt asks the question – why seek out poetry?  For writers, seeking out poetry is as essential as breathing in between sentences. Bringing poetic practice into our essays, our memoirs and even our business writing means we are attuned and illuminating language to form sentences that will live long after we are gone – sentences that become musical and have a stored magic inside of them, words that reach the depth of who we are and wake us into a dream, not out of a dream.

Stephanie answers her own question – poetic techniques make language easier to remember or take to heart.  I’ve been carrying Stephanie’s book – Don’t Read Poetry – to my doctor’s appointments, the beach and the bathroom.

When we open our selves to a new way of writing, when we invite language to dance, we leap into something new, surprising ourself and our readers.  There is a famous zen saying that opens poet Kim Addonizio’s book Ordinary Genius

“Leap and the net will appear.”

When we add metaphor, rhythm, vibration and the natural world into our stories, we add the glitter,  a rhythm, a vibration, that reaches into the roots of humanity – at  its best our writing becomes a seismic vibration.

Poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes “There is no place that does not see you, you must change your life” at the conclusion of a his poem “Archaic Torso of Apollo”, that line follows us through our lives on our personal Hero’s Journey, – to the airport, to college, maybe even to divorce court – we tuck his words into our souls and they feed us when we most need to turn to them.

Being inspired by poetic forms helps us open to the person we truly are and write our own stories – to embrace all the phases of our challenging journey and show the world our whole selves.

Poet Laureate Tracy Smith reminds us poetry –

and using poetic form in all our writing

“awakens our senses, frees us from the tyranny of literal meaning

and assures us of the credible reality of emotional truth –

puts us in touch with something bigger than language.”

Guest Teachers – Award-winning authors Kim Addonizio & D. Nurske

Kim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry, The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius. She has received fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Award Finalist for her collection Tell Me. Her memoir is Bukowski in a Sundress (Penguin). She teaches poetry online and in Italy the summer 2020.

Reviewers consistently praise her writing….

“Addonizio is a master of compressed intensity who always nails the emotional image.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“One of our nation’s most provocative and edgy poets.”  — Steve Kowit, San Diego Union Tribune

“Addonizio relishes bringing together moments of pleasure and pain, love and disaster.”   — American Poet



D. Nurkse is the author of eleven collections of poetry, most recently Love in the Last Days: After Tristan and Iseult. He’s the recipient of a dozen Literary Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry and the Whiting Writers Award. He served as poet laureate of Brooklyn from 1996 to 2001. His work has been translated into French, Russian, Italian, Estonian, and other languages.

Nurkse’s poetry collections have been reviewed in many venues, including The New Yorker, The New York Times and Poetry.

Nurkse is also very active in human rights.

As a passionate teacher of poetry, Nurkse has taught poetry at Rikers Island Correctional Facility and in inner-city literacy programs, as well as at MFA programs at Rutgers, Brooklyn College, and Stonecoast. He’s currently a long-term member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence.

Our life stories are already filled with poetry


When I think of the yard in front of the home I grew up in, I think of the two white birches trees as soldiers in front of my home, standing at attention on each side of the walkway guiding me to the family home that would shape me.  Without poetry, the trees in front of my home would be just birch trees and my mother would be crazy. I would dismiss the all of her instead of finding the complex artist and mother who played Christmas music in the heat of summer to lift her depression for a baby she lost.


Poetry is the foundation for all writing.”



― Alison Luterman

Three online classes to fit into your schedule / one class Live on Kauai

The writers who have participated in all my classes for the last ten years are influenced every week by poetic form.  In a short period of time available to inspire writers, I read themed poetry and excerpts out of literature.  And all my writers, sometimes without even trying, begin to bring poet form into their work.

Each group is an intimate group of 8 to 10 writers who work closely together for six weeks.

Inspiration for the Course

Years ago on a road trip from New Jersey to Illinois, my mother bought me my first poetry Anthology for children.  In there was poetry by Robert Bly and T.S. Eliot.  When my parents and my brothers were arguing and the tan ford station wagon was filled with cigarette smoke, I memorized Invictus, and can recite it fifty years later without missing an emotion from that time.

Inspiration from this course will come from contemporary poetry and ancient poetry. my extensive library of poetry craft books and from where we left off in our course two years ago.

“In this creative exploration

using poetry as inspiration

we will allow our brains to relax,

we will allow images and confessions and passion

to pour over us like a waterfall.

We will start at the beginning.


— Laura Lentz

Poetic Forms explored in class include: 

  • The Poetics of Place
  • Odes & Poems of the Body
  • The Confessional and the Manifesto 
  • Metaphor and the Natural World in writing
  • Rhythm in Language

Poetry and Books Used to Inspire:

  • Writers & Poets writing to Regions & Countries
  • Early & Contemporary Confessional poets 
  • Poets who bring the human experience inside the natural world
  • Myths  & Magic for what can’t be explained
  • The musical notes of language



Syn-creation – Why writing is a communal act

There is a magic that happens with intimate groups of writers creating together.  I call it Syncreation – we are all writing on the backs of writers who came before us and influenced by the energy of the writers we are creating beside.  When writers of all levels join each other to create (published authors beside someone new to the craft), it is a reminder we all have something to learn from each other. Often I am asked where I learned to write and my answer is simple:

I learned to write from my students.

Our writers call into our online groups from England, Australia, New York and California.  They are actors, plumbers, hairdressers and published authors.  All the writers, regardless of their background, come to the groups ready to write.

The time to join our writing groups is when you know it’s time to get your story onto the page.


Unique Poetic Writing Exercises

In each class we will explore poetic forms by writers & poets who have written masterpieces in a form of writing we are studying. This is not an academic course, but rather a course to help you spread your descriptive wings, to invite new ways of accessing language into your story. If you are a writer who has never written poetry, this class we help you open to the possibility of enriching your essay, memoir, fiction and blogs with the glitter, magic and mythology that is the invitation of poetry.

Audre Gide reminds us so eloquently –


“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting it lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”


Included in classes are the following:

•  Thirteen-minute live writing & group sharing

•  Belong to a private Facebook group of all writers taking class

•  Feedback from writing peers during class and throughout the week on FB

Writing Teacher: Laura Lentz

Author Laura Lentz has taught creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for ten years. Her workbook, STORYquest, helps writers turn their story into a Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling books. Laura is also a developmental editor and helps writers expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by poetry, mythology and segments from literature. Her exploratory writing workshops include Love, Skin and Eros, The Poetry Room, and STORYquest, Make Your Story a Hero’s Journey. Her 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai.  Workshop students have the unique opportunity to appear in an annual spoken word shows and in Literati Academy’s online magazine exclusively written by Literati Academy’s writing community in, Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference and is conducting a Master Class for writers who want to write in sacred places on Kauai and allow Kauai’s beauty to influence their work.


Share Your Writing  in a Private Facebook Page

Throughout the course, you will have access to up to thirty writers in a private Facebook page who are also taking this course – writing to the same course material.  You will share in a private Facebook group, and receive positive feedback from your peers.


Nov. 21 — Dec.19

December 14th (Saturday) 10:30 a.m PST D. Nurkse online

December 21st  (Saturday) – 10:30 a.m. PST Kim Addonizio online

   Nine writers creating together

* class five and six class are guest authors teaching online to all students in a larger group

4:00 p.m. — 6:00-6:30 p.m.
[Pacific Time]


TUESDAY – One Spot Available

Nov. 26th, Dec. 3rd, Dec. 10th, Dec. 17

December 14th (Saturday) 10:30 a.m PST D. Nurkse online

December 21st  (Saturday) – 10:30 a.m. PST Kim Addonizio online

Nine writers creating together

* classes five & six taught by guest authors online in a larger group

4:00 p.m. PST — 6:30 p.m.
[Pacific Time]


SUNDAY – Sold Out

Nov. 24th, Dec. 8th, Dec. 15th, Dec. 22nd

December 14th (Saturday) 10:30 a.m PST D. Nurkse online

December 21st  (Saturday) – 10:30 a.m. PST Kim Addonizio online

Nine writers creating together

* classes five & six –  guest authors teaching in a larger group

10:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.
[Pacific Time]


WEDNESDAY – One spot available

Nov. 27th, Dec. 4th, Dec. 11th, Dec. 18th

December 14th (Saturday) 10:30 a.m PST D. Nurkse online

December 21st  (Saturday) – 10:30 a.m. PST Kim Addonizio online

Nine writers creating together 

* classes five & six taught by guest authors in a larger group

6:30 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
[Hawaii time]
[on the north shore of Kaua‘i]


  • Wendy Grant
    Posted at 05:09h, 11 November Reply

    I have forwarded the link to my son who lives in Shanghai and am hoping that one of your online times suits his schedule. He writes beautiful poetry and I know he would so enjoy working with you to improve his writing. As soon as I am out of my current financial doldrums, I will be signing up for every course you offer!

    • Laura Lentz
      Posted at 01:12h, 16 November Reply

      Dearest Wendy,

      Be gone financial doldrums, be gone!! I have students from many countries in the groups. My heart is always first with poets, so I hope your son is motivated to join us. I’m looking forward to his poems. You must miss him, it’s very far away.

      I look forward to writing with you soon, Wendy!



  • Carrie Rautmann
    Posted at 06:03h, 15 November Reply

    HI Laura,
    I am thrilled to sign up for your Poetry room….I have gone a bit insane and been writing poetry like crazy (150) since spring….and have STOPPEd work on a book when a friend told me awhile ago, that i needed to write my BOOK as a poem….The timing of this workshop is excellent….and I HOPE I interpretted the page correctly for signing up for WED EVENINGS and I will get to be in your living room live on WED evenings. I work on Saturday mornings so I will miss the AWESOME content of the GUEST authors—will this be recorded so I will get a chance to listen to it? I love your new website, and the name quite beautiful……!

    Sending blessings,

    • Laura Lentz
      Posted at 01:10h, 16 November Reply


      I’m so THRILLED you are coming into my living room, yes you signed up correctly, and YES the recordings will be made available for any student who can’t make the guest authors!

      Thanks for the loving the website, I’m about the change it all again, but always for the better!

      Did you read the New Yorker article I linked to in my newsletter? This is a great time to write a memoir in poetic form, there is no better time. Can’t wait to see you soon in my living room!



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