I found Derrick's workshop incredibly fulfilling! The depth of his knowledge and experience, the caliber of guest lecturers, and warmth & openness of the participants kicked me out of a long creative drought. And it was super fun with zero pretension. I couldn't recommend this series more highly.
Your River is Waiting is the workshop for people who’ve got the chops to write, but need guidance on where to bite down. Derrick Brown uses his wealth of experience, and soothing vocal stylings, to take you through a no-nonsense look at brainstorming, editing, crafting, and publishing poetry. With guests from different arenas of the writing world, he gives you all the juice you need to squeeze something fresh out of your own mind. I spent 10 years writing poetry that never saw the light of day, and after four weeks in this workshop I’d written five brand new poems and shared them widely. 10/10 would ride the river again.
I cannot say enough good things about the Your River is Waiting workshop. It's by far one of the most inspired writing classes I have ever participated in. Derrick is such a thoughtful instructor and each week's class had wonderfully curated exercises and speakers. My formal training is in writing prose, so presenting my poetry to strangers was a daunting thought. The workshop lent to such an inviting atmosphere, I was never uncomfortable in sharing my work. I've since even started sending off incomplete pieces to friends without hesitation. The writing practices Derrick encouraged us to put into action will no doubt help me in many aspects of my work going forward. If even a tiny part of you is intrigued by the workshop, sign up! You will be so glad you did.
Derrick steers you down the river confidently, showing you shortcuts and tips of the trade to hone your poetry. Each session is filled with insider knowledge he has accumulated over the years, useful for any writer at any stage in their growth. The connections you make with folks in workshops will also give you a newfound and supportive community. Overall this series is a wonderful experience where you learn how to be critical of your own craft and create space for yourself “to not be afraid to suck.”
Between Derrick's wealth of experience, the amazing guests and hanging with my fellow river rats, my understanding of poetry was constantly challenged, and I found myself waking up each day more inspired to write. You know it's a good workshop when you exit both full and more hungry.
TL;DR: This course is a steal. Do yourself a favor and take advantage while you can!
Having the opportunity to take this writing course was a dream come true. I have been a huge fan of Derrick’s poetry press and every single one of the authors it works with, and it is such a unique treat to get to actually learn from the exact organization for which you are ideally crafting your manuscript. Not only that, but Derrick has some unique perspective to offer as an accomplished author and performance poet who tours internationally. He can speak about the writing and publishing process from just about every angle, and he even brought in other professionals to provide further insight into craft and editing.
In just four weeks, this course took us through understanding writer’s block and gaining efficiency during our writing prompts to planning for the submission of a finished manuscript. One of my favorite aspects of the course was the focus on pragmatic tools, and in addition to learning about craft, editing, and publishing, we practiced goal-setting and providing quality feedback to peers. By the end of the course, even as a novice, I felt very much a part of the poetry community and had a number of new resources and tools at my disposal. Take this course!