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Read your group members’ work, and compose one thoughtful response for each group member using the guidelines below. Your written response is simply an informal letter to the author that offers thoughtful observations and questions about the work. Remember, this workshop is NOT about “fixing” the work or making recommendations, so avoid offering suggestions for improvement, etc. Just stick to the guidelines below. There is no length requirement for the response. Write the kind of detailed, thoughtful response that you hope to receive yourself from your group members. Provided you write a detailed and thoughtful response using the prompts below, you don’t have to worry about your score. When you’re responding to each group member’s fiction, write a response that addresses the following:What aspect of this story really interests you: is it the main character? Another character? The conflict of the story? The plot?What do you believe the main character wants or needs, and why? What conflicts or obstacles stand in the main character’s way to getting what the main character wants/needs? Do you think the main character will ever get what they want/need? If so, how? If not, why? How do you think the story will end?When you’re responding to each group member’s poetry, write a response that addresses the following:What seems to be the central “thing”—the main subject—that all/each of the poems revolve around? Be specific. For example, don’t say all of the poems are about love, say they’re about romantic love, or fraternal love, or about the dangers of falling in love, or the rewards of loving a specific something or someone.Do the poems spend most of their time expressing emotions or thoughts about abstract concepts (love, hate, friendship, loss, etc.), or do they use a lot of concrete and specific imagery (a cut, a rusty hammer, a vine curled around a rock, an empty room, etc.)? What images stand out to you?Does the poet seem to be writing about their own experience in order to express something about the poet himself/herself (“self-referential” poetry), or is the poet consciously using their own experience to participate in a larger subject that impacts a larger discourse community? Explain.What other angles or perspectives do you think the poet might use to explore their main subject? For example, if the current poems explore the joys of romantic love, which is only one perspective on romantic love, do you think the poet’s future poems might explore the dangers of romantic love, or the challenges, the rewards, the humor, the chaos, etc., of romantic love? Once these responses are complete, you should feel free to talk back and forth, ask each other questions, etc., as you see fit. Keep the conversation going if you’d like; do you need clarification? Do you need more explanation or information from your group member(s)? Go ahead and ask them.


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You cry, I cry:
The nights are long
Messes arise
You cry
I cry
The nights swift by
A new lullaby
You grin
I grin
Tin Roof
Drip drop drip drop
Fall on the tip top
Sun is gone
Naps are in
Wait, here it comes again:
Boom pow boom pow
Shake the sky
With your howl
Momma, hold my hand
Momma, hold my hand.
I’m trying to not fall down again.
My legs are weak and I’m trying to stand.
I will be fine, If you take my hand.
Momma, hold my hand.
My friends did It again.
I can’t believe, they can be so mean.
Take my hand, you’re my best friend.
Momma, hold my hand.
You’re in pain, and I can tell.
It’s hard to speak, so please don’t tell.
Just hold my hand and don’t let go.
Momma, I wish you could hold my hand.
I’m about to be where you have been.
I’m in so much pain, but there is an end.
Here she is. I bet you’re proud.
I’m the momma holding the hand now.
When I first saw you, I thought I known you forever.
Your skin is flawless and your beautifulness is effortless.
Not to lie, I was scared. I was scared to let something so perfect be broken and impaired.
You completely changed my mind, when you came into my life.
I waited nine long months to see your face, and on my due date, there you came.
You rushed into my arms with open arms, and I knew right then I was yours.
I love who you made me to be: From scared to excited to overwhelmed to ignited.
You changed everyone when you decided to come, you took your dads rough heart and
wrapped it around your thumb.
Now I know, why they say, you’ll never know this love until you have your own.
Dilemma of The Ocean
In a tiny town in Ireland, a little boy no older than six wondered down the coast. No
parents to be found, and the wind was howling like a wolf against the far off cliffs. The curious
boy wondered out of his fish smelling home in a curious gaze of lighting off the ocean.
Something was different about this storm. The air had cool wisp to it, and it wad foggier than it
had ever been. The boy staring off in wonder of the ocean, was slowly being blown by the heavy
gust of wind. He didn’t care he, pressed on towards the ocean.
Something about the thrashing of the ocean intrigued his young eyes, so he kept pressing
forward. Against the howling of the wind, a distressed cry called out to the boy. Too far away to
grasp the boy, a furious wave swallowed him up. The faint cry of his mother was muffled by the
water. The boy panics as he’s swims for his life. Drifting deep into the water, the boy sees a
glimmer of glowing green light. He then glimpses a quick look at beautiful woman deep in the
water with him. She grabbed his arm and pulled him to shore, all too quickly she was gone into
the water.
The boy wakes up to his father racing him to their warm home. The boys hand was clasped to
something hard, he looks into his hand to see a green and purple scale, then drifts off into a deep
Years later, in the same tiny, fish smelling home, the same boy was now a man. The man
never forgot the day of the storm, but no one seemed to believe him when he tried to tell him of
the woman in the water. He dreamed of the woman quite often. The man was a very unhappy
man. He had a failing fish business that his father passed to him, and a wife that he loved but
they suffered from not being able to have children of their own.
The man decided to take off on one last fishing trip before the season was over. The sky
was eerie but he decided he could make it before the clouds came rolling in. He pushed his rusty
boat into the ocean and rolled into the still deep blue ocean. The man made the fish trip, with a
few hopeful fish. This would hold him over until next season. All of a sudden the ocean turned
violent and a fog so thick you could almost taste it appeared. The boat rocked, and rolled in the
waves. The man feared for his life, and his fathers’ old boat was slowly drifting apart into the
sea, never to be seen again. The man new, this was it. The waves grew stronger, and the rain was
coming down as if it was hail. The man was tossed off the side of the rusty boat, and crashing
hard into the open water, with no land in sight.
Drifting into the water he feared for his life, and thought of his wife. Then he saw it. A
familiar green glimpse of light, and a beautiful porcelain face appeared once again. He rushed up
on the broken surface of the water and gasped. He couldn’t believe it. It was true. Was it her? He
reached into his fisherman jacket and pulled out the green scale that shimmered. He had kept the
scale with him for luck over the years, and a piece of him wondered if it was just a shiny piece of
coral. For he started to question if he imagined the incident when he was a child. He knew that
she was real now. He got pushed violently under the water again, and he was sinking this time.
He couldn’t seem to move. Then he felt a tug, the woman tugged him up to the surface this time
he knew he saw her green glowing tale as it pulled him towards the surface. He gasped but
before he could say anything she put her hand over his mouth and told him to listen. “There’s
many options that are up to you. You could continue the life where you suffer, or come with me
and gain your dreams. For I could awaken your deepest wish. The choice is yours but do be
quick, the ocean is no match for your feeble lips”. The man was shocked and she took him under.
The ocean always called out to the man, and he never knew why. Was he meant to live that life?
Or go back home to his wife?

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