Artistic Freedom: Keith Flynn Master Class in Poetry

Artistic Freedom: Keith Flynn Master Class in Poetry February 18 | 9:00a-12:00p

Location: R J Reynolds High School Library, 301 N Hawthorne Rd, Winston Salem Cost: $20 members, $40 nonmembers (cash or check only, upon arrival)

To register, email . You will receive seating confirmation and poetry submission instructions

Participants are invited to send two poems in advance, for analysis by the class, and at least twenty copies of each poem. Any work deemed exemplary will be considered for publication in The Asheville Poetry Review. This class will benefit both the novice and the sophisticated craftsman. How do we define freedom as an author? What are our responsibilities? Is freedom achieved through discipline, adherence to a set of aesthetic principles, or is freedom gained through subject matter? Are we compelled to be political beings, or does that lead to dogma, or worse, demagoguery, hyperbole, cant? Is satire acceptable, or do we define freedom by experimentation, the loss of expectation, the abandonment of propriety?

All these concepts will be discussed, as well as writing prompts to jumpstart new writing, condensation as the final frontier for the poet, who must constantly sharpen their axe as editors, building the poem from the best word choice and sentences available.

This workshop will take the ambiguity out of the process, illustrating how every poem is built one choice, one word, or one image at a time, and still resonate with the mystery inherent in all of our best writing.


Keith Flynn ( is the award-winning author of seven books, including five collections of poetry: The Talking Drum (1991), The Book of Monsters (1994), The Lost Sea (2000),The Golden Ratio (Iris Press, 2007), Colony Collapse Disorder (Wings Press, 2013), and a collection of essays, entitled The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing (Writer's Digest Books, 2007). His latest book is a collaboration with photographer Charter Weeks, entitled Prosperity Gospel: Portraits of the Great Recession. From 1984-1999, he was lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band, The Crystal Zoo, which produced three albums: Swimming Through Lake Eerie (1992), Pouch (1996), and the spoken-word and music compilation, Nervous Splendor (2003). He is currently touring with a supporting combo, The Holy Men, whose album, LIVE at Diana Wortham Theatre, was released in 2011. His award-winning poetry and essays have appeared in many journals and anthologies around the world, including The American Literary Review, The Colorado Review, Poetry Wales, The Cuirt Journal(Ireland), Takahe (New Zealand), Poetry East, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Margie, The Cimarron Review, Rattle, Shenandoah, Word and Witness: 100 Years of NC Poetry, Crazyhorse, and many others. He has been awarded the Sandburg Prize for poetry, a 2013 NC Literary Fellowship, the ASCAP Emerging Songwriter Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award and was twice named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for NC. Flynn is founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, which began publishing in 1994. For more information, please visit:

After lunch on your own, return for Poetry In Plain Sight, Live! reading in the afternoon. Keith Flynn will join many other NC poets reading their poems chosen for display. See details below.


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