This winter Clark County Poet Laureate Heather Lang-Cassera will be leading a variety of writing workshops throughout Southern Nevada. These poetry workshops will be free and open to the public.
"These colder months can be the ideal time to curl up, pick up a new craft, or reflect on ourselves and the world around us, and poetry proves an ideal medium," said Lang-Cassera.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. at the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, Lang-Cassera will lead "Answering Art: A Poetry Workshop." Together, participants will read and discuss poems inspired by works of visual art. Then they will explore Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya's vibrant murals through ekphrasis, writing poems that describe and respond to visual art.
"I love meeting folks who haven't written a poem in years," said Lang-Cassera. "It's wonderful to see how intuitive and fulfilling poetry can be with just a bit of guidance. These workshops are designed so that the activities can be tailored to your experience and comfort level, whether you're a beginner or have been writing for some time now."
On Saturday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m. at Clark County Wetlands Park, Lang-Cassera will host another generative writing workshop, this time on the topic of nature poetry. The workshop will open with participants reading a few poems by well-known poets, such as work by Mary Oliver, for example. The majority of the workshop, however, will be guided writing time as the Poet Laureate will provide detailed instructions to guide writers, including those who are new to poetry.
Lang-Cassera will be leading workshops in Laughlin and Overton, as well. On Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m., she will lead a "Re-Discovering Haiku" workshop at the Laughlin Library. She will also run this workshop at the Moapa Valley Library on Saturday, Feb.1 at 2 p.m.
"There's much more to haiku than many of us were taught in school," said Lang-Cassera. "There's a rich history, which deserves discussion. Moreover, for folks who are new to poetry, it can be a particularly accessible poetic form, in part, because it is short. And, for poets who have been writing for a while, it allows us to hone our skills in diction, syntax, and enjambment, for example. Haiku offers a wonderful opportunity for a study of concision."
The Clark County Poet Laureate's mission is to promote poetry as an art form and a medium for inspirational public commentary. The Clark County website's poet laureate page offers additional information on poet laureate programming.
Lang-Cassera, Clark County, Nevada's 2019-2021 Poet Laureate, holds an MFA in Poetry with a Certificate in Literary Translation. Her poems have been published by Desert Companion, The Normal School, North American Review, South Dakota Review, and many other literary journals, and have been on exhibit in the Nevada Humanities Program Gallery and elsewhere. Lang-Cassera serves as World Literature Editor and book reviewer for The Literary Review, Faculty Advisor for 300 Days of Sun, and Editor-in-Chief for Tolsun Books. At Nevada State College, Lang-Cassera also teaches Introduction to Creative Writing, World Literature II, Modern American Poetry, and more.
Send all questions to Clark County, Nevada Poet Laureate Heather Lang-Cassera at firstname.lastname@example.org.