BFA, former City Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, author of four poetry collections including Air Kissing on Mars, Slice of Moon, and Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave. Ms. Dower’s poems have been featured in “The Writer’s Almanac,” Academy of American Poets, “Poem-a-Day,” and are widely anthologized.
My teaching style is passionate, collaborative, inclusive. I direct the conversation and open it up by welcoming everyone to share their thoughts. Though I have strong opinions and views about the craft of poetry, and certainly have my favorite poets, I hope that everyone in the room learns from one another and discusses poems in ways that are comfortable for them. I often learn from my students’ comments and feedback. I try to listen to my students’ work with an ear geared toward helping them produce what they want, and help them to say what they want to convey in the best words, best order. I look for their strengths and help them build their writing muscles! I do not try to mold my students into any particular “kind” of writer. My classes are informative, fun, entertaining and inspiring. As with most everything in life, the more a student is engaged and open to possibilities, the greater benefit the student will receive. I’ve seen over and over how my own exuberance for poetry is infectious and I’m thrilled to see students fall in love with a genre many of them used to fear! It’s exciting to show how a good poem can both soothe and terrify – how it can make order out of chaos. I teach that how a poem is “built” – the craft involved, the different lenses we look through to study a poem – and how these lenses can be used to tighten and polish all writing – even redefine it.