Holly Wren Spaulding

is creating resources for poets who want to write more

36

patrons

$693

per month
Welcome to my Patreon page!

I created this space because I want to share my vast archive of writing provocations, teaching videos, audio lessons, and other tools with fellow travelers, whether you're a secret writer, teacher, workshop leader, member of a writing group, or a one-time creative writing major who misses the structure of a regular workshop.

Over the years that I've taught creative writing (since 1996!), I've heard from so many people that I should publish a book containing my instructional materials, which is what I'll be working on during the coming year.

Becoming a supporter means that you will receive regular access to tools to nourish your writing, reading, and contemplative life as I share what I consider to be my best resources for independent study, solo practice, or even your own writing classroom.


THE CONCEPT OF PATRONAGE
Is old and yet still unfamiliar to many. In the way I conceive of it, I create work for the public and patrons contribute support at a level that feels good to them. As a working writer and interdisciplinary artist, but more importantly, as a teacher by profession, I intend to use this space to share what I believe you will find most useful, inspiring, even beautiful.

I don't want there to be any lack of clarity: I am not asking anyone to bankroll my lifestyle without some kind of reasonable and sustainable reciprocation on my part. I'm addressing this plainly after receiving a couple of inquiries that made me worry it seemed I was asking for donations without offering something in return. In the simplest possible terms, while I dearly wish to work on a book this year, that is second to serving my community, without whom none of this is possible, or even relevant.

HOW A COMMUNITY CAN NURTURE A BOOK IN PROGRESS
I am working on a book that for now I'm calling How To Begin: A Guidebook for Poets Who Want to Write More, containing original writing provocations inspired by contemporary poems and essays that investigate process and craft.

As I revise this material, I'll share some of it here. I'll also post archived teaching videos, audio postcards, pep talks, photos of my process, and occasional resources that I find personally useful and interesting.

I MADE THIS FOR YOU

  • Writers, especially poets, whether you're just learning to write, coming back to it after years away, or steadily in the practice.

  • Educators looking for writing exercises to use in their classrooms. I'm accustomed to working with adults, but much of what I share here would also work with middle and high school age writers/learners.

  • Readers and appreciators of poetry. Those who love to read and talk about what they've read. Those who believe in books and literacy and the value of a literate society.

  • Quiet People, Introverts. Sensitive Folks. Those with little interest in small talk or the vanity and vapidity of the usual social networks. Those who want to connect in a safer, more focused social space.

  • Change makers. I am also interested in opening the conversation about the power of poetry to activists and social justice campaigners whose primary mode of change-making can often result in overwork, burnout, and debilitating grief that too often ends the careers of valuable movement leaders and allies. 


In short, I am interested in connecting with those for whom language and poetry feels like a form of necessary speech; for whom reading and contemplation opens an essential, even sacred space.

I believe that writing helps us integrate our parts and create meaning from experience. I believe poetry soothes and grounds. I believe we can heal ourselves and in so doing, be healers for others and the earth.



AN EXPERIMENT
I see this page as a way of passing along the things that I am creating, rather than keeping so much of this stuff in notebooks and on hard drives, while I await a publishing deal.

I also want to create an alternative space to teach and guide other poets, since some of my followers cannot afford my full-price workshops and offerings. 

I see this space as an experiment in sharing my personal process and resources in a way that feels friendly enough to accommodate work in progress, new ideas, even things that might not work. 

Here, I am drawing a circle around myself that values access to a more candid and intimate view. I want the freedom to express new ideas, share behind-the-scenes glimpses, experiment, and iterate in a safe, shared space. It helps to have folks around when incubating ideas because then I'm not creating in a vacuum.

I hope to create community, among colleagues and friends and friendly fellows, where conversations can happen without some of the distractions and dynamics of the more public social networks.

We shall see what happens!

WHY THIS, WHY NOW?
As we navigate the complexities of our changing and often confounding moment in history, I am determined to play a role in making our world a better place. With poetry? Yes. I will use what I have and you should too. The world needs all of us.

I invite you to join me in exploring what that might look like, starting with the care and attention we cultivate during the reading or making of a poem.

HOW LONG WILL THIS EXIST?
Successful Patreon accounts can exist for years. It all comes down to whether patrons want it to exist, and decide to support my role as creator. 

If you become a patron but decide to leave at some point, the power is in your hands to do that without me. You can also upgrade your monthly pledge if you decided you want access to other perks, like live workshops or coaching on a project.

If at any point I decide to close down this Patreon account, I will fulfill my commitments first, all patrons will be notified of the change of status, and payments/withdrawals will automatically stop.*

MY LITERARY BACKGROUND
Much of what I understand about the creative process comes from my 30+ year commitment to the practice, and nearly twenty years of teaching writing in a variety of settings, from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, to Interlochen Center for the Arts, to activist spaces, a community college, Poetry Boot Camp, and since 2012, my online incubator for writers and their work, Poetry Forge, where I work to expand the definition of what it means to be a poet in the world.

SOME PUBLICATIONS OF NOTE

My writing has appeared in the Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness, The Ecologist, Poetry New York Times,Northwest, and in various anthologies and chapbooks. If August (Alice Greene and Co., 2017) is my latest book of poetry. You can learn a lot more about me by checking out Poetry Forge or my author site, Holly Wren Spaulding



Tiers
Summer grass
$5 or more per month
  • You'll have access to some of my favorite poems, Poem Crushes, and brief, personal commentary about them. 
  • Mostly you just want to contribute to the cause; this is your vote of confidence, even if you're not a committed writer and may not even decide to read everything I post.
  • Folks who choose this level of patronage will receive a deep bow and my heartfelt gratitude for your support.


"For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass." 

—Walt Whitman, from "Song of Myself"

Blue Chicory
$10 or more per month

In addition to the above benefits— 


  • I will share some of my best generative writing prompts with you. Each includes a model poem by a contemporary poet, and three options for how to begin writing "in the wake" of what you've read. Expect to get a draft of a poem in under 15 minutes using these resources.



If you've ever participated in the 21 Day Poetry Challenge, you already know how these writing provocations can create a container for daily practice.



*


"my blue chicory
at scrub end

of ditch

illuminates"


—Lorine Niedecker, from "Tradition"

Strawberry Jam
$20 or more per month (sold out!)

In addition to the above benefits, you will receive—


  • Original teaching videos and brief audio lessons to listen to while you exercise or drive.
  • Exclusive invitations to generative writing workshops on Zoom each month.


Use these materials to create gentle structure around your writing process, and to stimulate new approaches to the page, and if you're a teacher, feel free to use my resources with your students (with credit, of course).



*


"My Lord, I loved strawberry jam
And the dark sweetness of a woman’s body.
Also well-chilled vodka, herring in olive oil,
Scents, of cinnamon, of cloves.
So what kind of prophet am I? Why should the spirit
Have visited such a man? Many others
Were justly called, and trustworthy."

—Czeslaw Milosz, from "A Confession"

Sweetapple
$30 or more per month only 30 left

In addition to the above benefits and workshops, you will receive—


  • Exclusive invitations to a once per month Lit-submission Co-working Session focused on preparing and submitting work for publication, where I will be available to answer questions about any part of that process.


*This may be especially useful to those with manuscripts or finished poems who are working on placing them with journals, magazines, or presses.


————————————————


as the sweetapple reddens on a high branch


high on the highest branch and the applepickers forgot—


no, not forgot: were unable to reach


Sappho, Translated by Anne Carson




Starshine
$50 or more per month (sold out!)

In addition to the above benefits—


  • You will have the option to book a 30 minute private coaching session with me each month. This is a chance to talk about your process, discuss a current project, look closely at work in progress, or address an interest or challenge in your artistic life.


*


"i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand"


—Lucille Clifton, from "won't you celebrate with me"


Real Flowers
$100 or more per month only 2 left

Because you know it will  be real, and helpful, and propellant for you and your work to have a regular date with me, to dialogue and lend energy to whatever you may be working on.


In addition to all of the other available benefits, you will receive a monthly Check-In call (60 min.) with me, Holly, to hold you accountable to a project that matters, to nurture your Secret Life, to talk through challenges, to brainstorm the way forward, or to forge some structure and shapeliness amidst the chaos of your creative life. It can be whatever you need it to be. We will craft the direction together. It will be wonderful.


Come, see

the real flowers

of this painful world.


—Basho


Goals
36 of 60 patrons
Increasing this community to 60 or more patrons will help me to purchase much needed equipment, including: 

  • a replacement for my 9 year old laptop computer 
  • a light for use when recording videos
  • an actual office chair that will help me preserve my body during the many hours I sit each day
  • bookshelves for my extensive poetry collection.

In return for your support reaching my goal I will host a live Zoom event for all patrons, at any level, where I will offer to workshop work in progress. As soon as I reach 60 patrons, I will announce the date. I hope to get there by December 2019.


1 of 1
Welcome to my Patreon page!

I created this space because I want to share my vast archive of writing provocations, teaching videos, audio lessons, and other tools with fellow travelers, whether you're a secret writer, teacher, workshop leader, member of a writing group, or a one-time creative writing major who misses the structure of a regular workshop.

Over the years that I've taught creative writing (since 1996!), I've heard from so many people that I should publish a book containing my instructional materials, which is what I'll be working on during the coming year.

Becoming a supporter means that you will receive regular access to tools to nourish your writing, reading, and contemplative life as I share what I consider to be my best resources for independent study, solo practice, or even your own writing classroom.


THE CONCEPT OF PATRONAGE
Is old and yet still unfamiliar to many. In the way I conceive of it, I create work for the public and patrons contribute support at a level that feels good to them. As a working writer and interdisciplinary artist, but more importantly, as a teacher by profession, I intend to use this space to share what I believe you will find most useful, inspiring, even beautiful.

I don't want there to be any lack of clarity: I am not asking anyone to bankroll my lifestyle without some kind of reasonable and sustainable reciprocation on my part. I'm addressing this plainly after receiving a couple of inquiries that made me worry it seemed I was asking for donations without offering something in return. In the simplest possible terms, while I dearly wish to work on a book this year, that is second to serving my community, without whom none of this is possible, or even relevant.

HOW A COMMUNITY CAN NURTURE A BOOK IN PROGRESS
I am working on a book that for now I'm calling How To Begin: A Guidebook for Poets Who Want to Write More, containing original writing provocations inspired by contemporary poems and essays that investigate process and craft.

As I revise this material, I'll share some of it here. I'll also post archived teaching videos, audio postcards, pep talks, photos of my process, and occasional resources that I find personally useful and interesting.

I MADE THIS FOR YOU

  • Writers, especially poets, whether you're just learning to write, coming back to it after years away, or steadily in the practice.

  • Educators looking for writing exercises to use in their classrooms. I'm accustomed to working with adults, but much of what I share here would also work with middle and high school age writers/learners.

  • Readers and appreciators of poetry. Those who love to read and talk about what they've read. Those who believe in books and literacy and the value of a literate society.

  • Quiet People, Introverts. Sensitive Folks. Those with little interest in small talk or the vanity and vapidity of the usual social networks. Those who want to connect in a safer, more focused social space.

  • Change makers. I am also interested in opening the conversation about the power of poetry to activists and social justice campaigners whose primary mode of change-making can often result in overwork, burnout, and debilitating grief that too often ends the careers of valuable movement leaders and allies. 


In short, I am interested in connecting with those for whom language and poetry feels like a form of necessary speech; for whom reading and contemplation opens an essential, even sacred space.

I believe that writing helps us integrate our parts and create meaning from experience. I believe poetry soothes and grounds. I believe we can heal ourselves and in so doing, be healers for others and the earth.



AN EXPERIMENT
I see this page as a way of passing along the things that I am creating, rather than keeping so much of this stuff in notebooks and on hard drives, while I await a publishing deal.

I also want to create an alternative space to teach and guide other poets, since some of my followers cannot afford my full-price workshops and offerings. 

I see this space as an experiment in sharing my personal process and resources in a way that feels friendly enough to accommodate work in progress, new ideas, even things that might not work. 

Here, I am drawing a circle around myself that values access to a more candid and intimate view. I want the freedom to express new ideas, share behind-the-scenes glimpses, experiment, and iterate in a safe, shared space. It helps to have folks around when incubating ideas because then I'm not creating in a vacuum.

I hope to create community, among colleagues and friends and friendly fellows, where conversations can happen without some of the distractions and dynamics of the more public social networks.

We shall see what happens!

WHY THIS, WHY NOW?
As we navigate the complexities of our changing and often confounding moment in history, I am determined to play a role in making our world a better place. With poetry? Yes. I will use what I have and you should too. The world needs all of us.

I invite you to join me in exploring what that might look like, starting with the care and attention we cultivate during the reading or making of a poem.

HOW LONG WILL THIS EXIST?
Successful Patreon accounts can exist for years. It all comes down to whether patrons want it to exist, and decide to support my role as creator. 

If you become a patron but decide to leave at some point, the power is in your hands to do that without me. You can also upgrade your monthly pledge if you decided you want access to other perks, like live workshops or coaching on a project.

If at any point I decide to close down this Patreon account, I will fulfill my commitments first, all patrons will be notified of the change of status, and payments/withdrawals will automatically stop.*

MY LITERARY BACKGROUND
Much of what I understand about the creative process comes from my 30+ year commitment to the practice, and nearly twenty years of teaching writing in a variety of settings, from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, to Interlochen Center for the Arts, to activist spaces, a community college, Poetry Boot Camp, and since 2012, my online incubator for writers and their work, Poetry Forge, where I work to expand the definition of what it means to be a poet in the world.

SOME PUBLICATIONS OF NOTE

My writing has appeared in the Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness, The Ecologist, Poetry New York Times,Northwest, and in various anthologies and chapbooks. If August (Alice Greene and Co., 2017) is my latest book of poetry. You can learn a lot more about me by checking out Poetry Forge or my author site, Holly Wren Spaulding



Recent posts by Holly Wren Spaulding

Tiers
Summer grass
$5 or more per month
  • You'll have access to some of my favorite poems, Poem Crushes, and brief, personal commentary about them. 
  • Mostly you just want to contribute to the cause; this is your vote of confidence, even if you're not a committed writer and may not even decide to read everything I post.
  • Folks who choose this level of patronage will receive a deep bow and my heartfelt gratitude for your support.


"For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass." 

—Walt Whitman, from "Song of Myself"

Blue Chicory
$10 or more per month

In addition to the above benefits— 


  • I will share some of my best generative writing prompts with you. Each includes a model poem by a contemporary poet, and three options for how to begin writing "in the wake" of what you've read. Expect to get a draft of a poem in under 15 minutes using these resources.



If you've ever participated in the 21 Day Poetry Challenge, you already know how these writing provocations can create a container for daily practice.



*


"my blue chicory
at scrub end

of ditch

illuminates"


—Lorine Niedecker, from "Tradition"

Strawberry Jam
$20 or more per month (sold out!)

In addition to the above benefits, you will receive—


  • Original teaching videos and brief audio lessons to listen to while you exercise or drive.
  • Exclusive invitations to generative writing workshops on Zoom each month.


Use these materials to create gentle structure around your writing process, and to stimulate new approaches to the page, and if you're a teacher, feel free to use my resources with your students (with credit, of course).



*


"My Lord, I loved strawberry jam
And the dark sweetness of a woman’s body.
Also well-chilled vodka, herring in olive oil,
Scents, of cinnamon, of cloves.
So what kind of prophet am I? Why should the spirit
Have visited such a man? Many others
Were justly called, and trustworthy."

—Czeslaw Milosz, from "A Confession"

Sweetapple
$30 or more per month only 30 left

In addition to the above benefits and workshops, you will receive—


  • Exclusive invitations to a once per month Lit-submission Co-working Session focused on preparing and submitting work for publication, where I will be available to answer questions about any part of that process.


*This may be especially useful to those with manuscripts or finished poems who are working on placing them with journals, magazines, or presses.


————————————————


as the sweetapple reddens on a high branch


high on the highest branch and the applepickers forgot—


no, not forgot: were unable to reach


Sappho, Translated by Anne Carson




Starshine
$50 or more per month (sold out!)

In addition to the above benefits—


  • You will have the option to book a 30 minute private coaching session with me each month. This is a chance to talk about your process, discuss a current project, look closely at work in progress, or address an interest or challenge in your artistic life.


*


"i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand"


—Lucille Clifton, from "won't you celebrate with me"


Real Flowers
$100 or more per month only 2 left

Because you know it will  be real, and helpful, and propellant for you and your work to have a regular date with me, to dialogue and lend energy to whatever you may be working on.


In addition to all of the other available benefits, you will receive a monthly Check-In call (60 min.) with me, Holly, to hold you accountable to a project that matters, to nurture your Secret Life, to talk through challenges, to brainstorm the way forward, or to forge some structure and shapeliness amidst the chaos of your creative life. It can be whatever you need it to be. We will craft the direction together. It will be wonderful.


Come, see

the real flowers

of this painful world.


—Basho