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I'm Teaching Dreamworks Again

This is my 25th year of teaching Dreamworks--writing poetry from dreams--at the University of Tennessee, and I'm still amazed by the quality of the work.  More than the "regular" writing workshops, the poems spurred by dreams tend to be wilder, more inventive, and to have mythic tinges.   The work is too unusual to have been invented--in dreams the creative process is ongoing, and we tap into it.  

I have 19 year-olds and 35 year-olds writing side-by-side.   They need a sense of adventure, a love of mystery, the ability to recall their dreams and the willingness to explore them.   They need one prior class in poetry writing (this is the deep water, and diving equipment is very useful.)

The journey begins this week with the first set of inspired poems.   May I be a worthy guide! 

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Hi Marilyn

This is just such a fascinating subject because it has to do with the subconscious, and a good deal of introspective writing springs forth from there.

I wonder whether the post-poetry sessions also result in analysis of the content of the dream as expressed in the poem without the 'poetic' critique.


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Thanks for your reflections.

We treat the dream material as literature, and I help the poets craft the poems and use certain techniques for "dreaming further."  We use Jung's technique of "active imagination."   But we're not interested in analyzing the dreams, only in being literary workers in the dream fields.

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I wish . . .

I wish I lived in Tennessee and could take your class!

Julie Hooker

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That would be just lovely!

Julie, come to France with me and study--wouldn't that be a good dream?   Seriously!  http://www.vcca.com/kallet.html/

The early bird discount ends Feb 1st but the Red Room member discount holds firm until we're filled up.   I have three spaces left.

 Cheers and thanks for your encouragement.  Write on! Marilyn 

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Vocational Dreams

Steven B. Herrmann, PhD, MFT


What a pleasure to have found your blog! I worked as a Teaching Assistant for five quarters under the tutelage of the poet William Everson in his course "Birth of a Poet" at UCSC. I led the dream groups and taught Jung. I just published my first book "William Everson: The Shaman's Call" where I have a chapter on vocational dreams with an example from a woman's journal who began writing poetry again. It is wonderful that you are teaching a class like this. More needs to be written about this subject. I have been doing active imagination and writing poetry out of my dream life for many years and in my book I explore several of Everson's dreams that were written out of the dream state, such as his stunning poem "Black Hills." Thank you for telling us about your remarkable course.

Best wishes,
Steven B. Herrmann

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I'm the lucky one, to find this connection with you and your wrk

Wonderful, Steven, thanks for making contact!  My former dreamworks students keep nagging me to create a book of readings and exercises.   Maybe!  (It's a sidetrack from poetry).   I'll look up your right away. Mazel tov on the new first book!  Here's to many more--I wrote a short note yesterday on facebook about some playlets we did in class.  Are you on Facebook?  If not, I'll figure out how to post here.Cheers and rock on!   MarilynP.S.  I was in therapy for a short while with June Singer.  She fell asleep on regular basis when I was talking!  :) 

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Steven B. Herrmann, PhD, MFT  Thanks Marilyn! It is good to hear from you. I am interested in what you are doing and look forward to learn from you. I am on Facebook and please send me your post. Have you seen Jung's Red Book? It is becoming quite a phenomenon at the San Francisco Institute and Bay Area. I admire your devotion to your poetry. You are reminding me of what is essential in life.