Blue Stoop
A Home for Philly Writers


Craft Classes & Writing Workshops

We offer 3 eight-week writing workshops in the fall (September-November) and another 3 eight-week writing workshops in the spring (January-March) as well as shorter weekend intensives throughout the year. Generally, introductory workshops are offered in the fall, with more advanced classes offered in the spring.

Tuition for our full-length classes is $400, a fee we set intentionally so we can adequately compensate our instructors; we pay our instructors between $2000-3000 per course, depending on enrollment. Tuition for weekend intensives is $250 and instructors receive $600-1300 depending on enrollment. Financial aid is available for both our eight-week and intensive classes, including full scholarships. Click here for more details on financial aid.

If you have college teaching experience and a record of publication and would like to propose a class, contact us. For a list of our past classes, click here.

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Foundations of Writing Poetry

  • Pen & Pencil Club 1522 Latimer Street Philadelphia, PA, 19102 United States (map)

This 7-week class will meet Tuesdays from 9/3-10/15 6-9pm
Location: Pen & Pencil Club upstairs, 1522 Latimer Street 
6-12 students; class will not run with less than 6 students
$350, financial aid available
To apply, send a paragraph about you and a writing sample of up to 5 pages of any genre of writing to
Students must apply by 11:59pm August 19. If admitted, must pay by August 30 to reserve their spot

Poetry forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action," writes Audre Lorde. In this sense, poetry is a means for investigation and the transformation of our lives, our worlds, the past, present, and future.

In this course, we will explore and develop core competencies to discover, shape, and amplify that light. Students will encounter a wide range of poets working with various strategies (Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, W. S. Merwin, Chris Abani, Aracelis Girmay, Anne Boyer, Cathy Park Hong, Claudia Rankine, Willie Perdomo, among others) to understand the possibilities of line, syntax, image/metaphor, sound, structure/order of information, tone, point of view, and revision as elements of the craft. Students will also read a few craft-specific texts to support the development of a shared vocabulary. Each class will include a workshop where students will take turns contributing 1-2 of their own original poems for discussion. Prerequisites for the class include curiosity, humility, and enthusiasm.

Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of Salvage: Poems and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water. A three-time Pushcart Prize Nominee, her poetry has appeared widely online and in print.  She has been awarded the Fifth Wednesday Journal Editor’s Prize in Poetry, and scholarships from the Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and Vermont Studio Center. As a 2016 Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grantee, she partnered with Asian Arts Initiative to create Sanctuary: A Migrant Poetry Workshop for immigrant poets in Philadelphia, and in 2017, she received the Leeway Foundation Transformation Award. She has also served as a poet mentor for The Blueshift Journal’s Speakeasy Project. Originally born and raised in Bali, Indonesia, Cynthia is currently based in the Greater Philadelphia Area and pursuing her MFA as a Holden Fellow at Warren Wilson College.

Earlier Event: June 22
Novel Writing Intensive
Later Event: September 9
Foundations of Writing Fiction