To Whom it May Concern:


Paul Nelson presented a two-hour writing workshop for Highline Community College’s Jump Start Your Writing series on October 13, 2005, that provided participants information, stimulation, and the chance to produce writings of their own.  He used audio, handouts, and dialogue to ensure all of those present were able to access information about the OPEN form of American poetry and Ginsberg’s “First Thought/Best Thought” approach to writing strategies.


During the workshop, Paul talked about poets Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Diane di Prima, Michael McClure, and Anne Waldman. To cover seven poets in two hours with specifics about each of their writing styles and approaches – and to give participants a chance to write in response – seemed like a large swath to cover.  But Paul did the presentation with taped readings from some of the poets, as well, that highlighted the fact that poetry is a spoken form of art.  He gave people a chance to ask questions and talk about the poets and their work and still had time to give them exercises that prompted their own poems.


I was impressed with Paul’s workshop.  He gave a great deal of information about the poets and their writing, as well as how they pushed forward the idea of this new form of poetry – American poetry.  I also appreciated the structure of his presentation and the informal way he presented so that even newcomers felt comfortable in sharing their own work. 


Susan Landgraf

Coordinator of Jump Start Your Writing;

Faculty and Chair of Journalism and College

Success Departments at Highline Community College