photo by Terry Weckbaugh
photo by Terry Weckbaugh
photo by Terry Weckbaugh

SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

WYATT TOWNLEY

POET LAUREATE OF KANSAS EMERITA

Readings / Talks / Discussions:
Wyatt travels regionally and nationally to give readings, talks, and discussions. These events can vary in length, and are offered singly or in combination with other services.

  • Coming Home to Poetry (30-60 minutes)
    Home—what is it, where is it, and how does it intersect with poetry? "Poetry is a place," she affirms, "a place we can return to in all kinds of weather. Its porchlight is always on." Wyatt explores the topic through reading her own work and that of other poets.

    Note: while the theme endures, this program is new—evolving poem by poem and book by book each time Wyatt gives it.

Workshops:
All workshops are appropriate for beginners as well as veteran writers. Handouts are given in each workshop, designed to support participants beyond the immediate experience.

  • Letters from Home: Writing Sensory Poetry (2 hours)
    Experience the body as a “place,” not an object—a place you can call home and write from. Sharpening the five senses will breathe life onto the page and anchor the reader there with you. In this interactive mind/body session, we'll do sensory writing and point-of-view experiments toward the goal of creating fresh, original poetry from a new angle.
  • HomeWords: Little Poems, Big Picture (60 minutes)
    Let’s make ourselves at home on the page. Together we’ll explore the notion of “home” from micro to macro: body, house, land, sky. To approach these big ideas, we’ll use a tiny poem, the American Cinquain—a simple, dynamic form that both beginners and longtime poets can write successfully.
  • The Writing Life: Ouch! Backsavers for Writers (60 minutes)
    Hemingway finally had to write standing up. Writers (like pianists) bend over a keyboard for hours. Then we wonder why our backs hurt! If your spine is turning into a question mark, come to this workshop for practical hands-on tips on alignment and breathing. Simple suggestions, stretches, and stress-busters can transform life in your chair.

And now for something completely different:
Wyatt offers gentle yoga workshops in tandem with writing presentations—appropriate for beginners and the perfect punctuation in a day of sitting. With over 40 years of teaching experience, Wyatt is recognized at the highest level by Yoga Alliance, the national registry of yoga teachers.

  • Poetry in Motion: Smart Yoga for Bodies in Transition (75-90 minutes)
    The body has been with us since birth and goes everywhere with us, yet many of us don’t feel at home in it. Whatever your age or size, however flexible or inflexible, Wyatt’s inside-out approach to yoga starts exactly where you are and moves you, breath by breath, from tension to spaciousness.

    Poets in particular connect with this work. Metaphor and figurative language are unsurpassed in demonstrating anatomical principles. Breathing techniques put the body in a poetic state where we can free-associate and access our innate creativity. Books and videos are available to support participants beyond the workshop, on and off the mat.

Technical Requirements:

  • Depending on the space, a microphone / sound system
  • 6ꞌ table for book sales / signing [set up prominently somewhere near entrance to event space]
  • 2 chairs (with signing table)
  • Additional small side table up front by Wyatt’s music stand
  • For backsaver workshop: a room with rows of straight chairs spaced with 2-3 feet of space between them.
  • For yoga workshop: a large carpeted room, cleared of furniture and vacuumed, with a thermostat we can crank up and lights we can dim down. Wyatt will need a chair and table at the front of the room.