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Every Day is a Poem with Jacqueline Suskin

Every Day is a Poem with Jacqueline Suskin is a 5-day creative writing course that will, through daily lessons and exercises, help you discover your own unique voice to express your lived experiences and emotions through the power of poetry.
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Overview

Every Day is a Poem with Jacqueline Suskin is a 5-day creative writing course that will, through daily lessons and exercises, help you discover your own unique voice to express your lived experiences and emotions through the power of poetry.

About

Jacqueline Suskin is a performance poet and educator who has been teaching workshops, writing books, and creating spontaneous poetry around the world since 2009. With her project, the Poem Store, Suskin has composed more than forty thousand improvisational poems for patrons who chose a topic in exchange for a unique verse. Her work has been featured in New York Times, T Magazine, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and other publications.

By This Expert

Welcome

01: Welcome

How do humans deal with the heaviness of everyday living? How do we keep going when everything is so hard, sad, and infuriating? We are surrounded by hate, by death, and destruction—how do we sift through the chaos and enjoy being alive? Jacqueline’s answer is poetry. The poetic mind is a grateful one, it’s a mind that celebrates the miracle of being. The poetic mind is moody, and it digs its heels into these moods, pulling out the best and worst of feelings in the name of discovery, in the name of the shared human condition. The poetic mind shines a light on its uniqueness and its unique way of coping with grief or anger. The gift of this mind is that it can turn any experience into one of worth, into something meaningful, into an answer or a gift of clarity. Welcome to Every Day is a Poem!

9 min
Day 1: Be In Awe of Everything

02: Day 1: Be In Awe of Everything

Wherever you stand at any moment, whatever the situation, you can drum up a large dose of awe to get you through. Awe is appreciation. Awe is curiosity. It gets you to look closer, to lead with patience and compassion, acceptance and intrigue. There is no shortage of wonder in the human spirit. We were born to ask why. We are here to make up our own answers. This is the poetry of being alive. Today we will hone in on our awe, we will uncover it like an aquifer and bring it to the surface so that it never goes silent again. On Day 1 of Every Day is Poem, Jacqueline introduces what it means to be in awe, discusses the many forms awe can take, and then guides you through a writing practice. Then, watch as Jacqueline responds on-screen to the exercise, showing you how she finds awe in the moment.

13 min
Day 2: Make Meaning

03: Day 2: Make Meaning

Because we are the ones asking questions and finding answers, we are the ones who get to determine the meaning that we live by. Meaning is a choice. You can delve into the details surrounding you and measure the might of sacredness in each. You can make the street sign sacred if you want to. Anything can be holy. We are graced with the ability to tell stories and apply them again and again in situations of doubt. We choose talismans that hold the power of repetition, this repetition creates significance. Today we will look at the details of our life and name what makes it all meaningful. Once we do this practice, the significance sticks and we can hold onto it always, we can let it all grow more and more meaningful with time. Today, Jacqueline introduces the idea of creating a personal mythology that adds importance to everyday life and illuminates that anything can be meaningful if we assign significance. She walks you through this process by offering up personal examples of her own mythology and then writes on-screen to further explore this practice.

16 min
Day 3: Find Your Inspiration

04: Day 3: Find Your Inspiration

There is a wealth of inspiration swirling around us and within us on any given day. This part of the course focuses on these endless offerings, reminding us that we have the opportunity to use our senses, our pain, our joy, and our memory as sources of inspiration for our writing. What to write about? They always say, write what you know. This means that your personal life experience is always enough as a starting point on a journey of creative expression. Today we will lean into this potential that you carry and begin to see that we are all overflowing with our own material. Today, Jacqueline introduces the various types of inspiration that we all have access to and walks you through this accessibility. Writing time on-screen focuses on the senses and the therapeutic nature of poetry, the way that inspiration is endless because of our personal experiences.

13 min
Day 4: Explore Your Purpose

05: Day 4: Explore Your Purpose

Why do you write? Who are you writing for? What is the purpose behind your creative expression? It’s okay to not know your purpose. Most people don’t, although, I believe it’s there inside of you waiting to be identified. Your purpose can change throughout your life. Your purpose can look like something very certain and then you’ll realize there is a hidden door to another aspect of intention that will offer up new motivation. Maybe you have a few different types of purpose that fuel your existence and all of these reasons for doing what you do can come out in small ways and large ways. Purpose is a grand idea, so today we will just begin to reveal the roots of our poetic purpose, the reason we write our words on the page. The knowledge of why you want to write will illuminate the foundation of every poem you create, it will guide you when you sit down with your journal, and it will add clarity to moments of poetic experience in the world outside of the written word. In this lesson, Jacqueline opens with her philosophy around purpose and a personal story about the moment she became aware of her own purpose. Instead of having on-screen writing time, Jacqueline will read her “Poetic Purpose” piece and show you what it is to create a poem of purpose.

8 min
Day 5: Perfect Your Practice

06: Day 5: Perfect Your Practice

We all have a poet living inside of us, or beside us, close at hand. You have permission to love that part of yourself, to work at that piece inside of you until it comes out in words, to gather up all of those swirling expressions and make sense of them in language. You can be a secret poet, a poet who never writes, a poet who just appreciates the craft but keeps a journal locked away from others. You don’t have to call yourself a poet to be one. This can be a private journey of naming feelings and processing experiences. But if you are looking to give yourself over to your work in a deeper way, there are a few things that will make the process that much more of a craft. This means dedicating yourself to a practice. Today, we will discuss some very easy ways to start this process.

9 min
Thank You

07: Thank You

How will you continue to shift your perspective and let yourself be expressive, curious, and dedicated to the poetry that is your life? What you have to say is important. Even if you just take the time to think about the world in a poetic way, adding beauty, meaning, and your unique lens, you’ll shift the way you feel and that shift can affect everyone in powerful ways.

2 min