TLA Classes

We offer online classes to help you deepen your understanding of Transformative Language Arts, explore the craft of various genres and arts related to TLA, and develop your livelihood, community work, and service related to TLA.

Designed and taught by leading teachers, transformative language artists and activists, and master facilitators (want to be one of them?), these classes offer you ample opportunities to grow your art of words, your business and service, and your conversation with your life work.

The online nature of the classes allows you to participate from anywhere in the world (provided you have internet access) at any time of the day while, and at the same time, the intimate and welcoming atmosphere of the classes helps students find community, inspiration, and greater purpose.

All classes include hands-on activities (writing, storytelling, theater, spoken word, visual arts,music and/or other prompts), plus great resources, readings, and guidance. We use the online educational platform, Moodle.

Enrollment Cost

Classes are priced by the number of weeks they run. Members pay $35/week, non-members pay $40/week. Most classes run for 6 weeks, so members would pay $210 and non-members would pay $240.

NOTE: When there is a sale, the class page only displays the non-member discounted price. If you are a member, it will show the member discount once you start the registration process.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Cancellations: A nonrefundable fee of 10% is included in each registration. No cancellations after the class begins. In the case of extenuating circumstances, please contact us.

Low Enrollment Cancellations: Classes that do not meet a minimum enrollment may be canceled a minimum of 3 days prior to the first class meeting with full refunds for all registrants.

Incomplete: Students seeking certification in TLA Foundations who cannot complete a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted a discounted registration on the next available offering of that class. To be eligible for the discount students must communicate their circumstance to the teacher as soon as possible.

Upcoming Classes

    • 01 Jan 2018
    • 31 Dec 2018
    • Online
    Register

    NOTE: This class does not have a set time frame -- you may register and move through the material at any time of the year.

    This self-paced poetry class combines innovative writing prompts, inspiring essays and videos on the craft and passion of writing powerful poetry about our lives and times, and written discussions on the history and possibilities of poetry that speaks to social transformation.

    Each unit highlights both state poet laureate past or present, and a historic poet dedicated to changing the world, including a writing prompt and writing craft or writing life discussion from that poet, some of the poets laureate's poems with writing prompts, a discussion of a poet from the past or present who crafts poetry for social transformation, and exciting links to interviews, essays, and videos.

    By the end of this 12-unit class, you will have written dozens of new poems (over 10 writing prompts in each unit), learned more about poetry as a craft and way of life, considered various ways to speak truth to power for individual and social change, and interacted with the writing and poetics of 37 American poets.

    Poets highlighted in the class: Each unit will feature a state poet laureate, a U.S. (or tribal) poet laureate, and a historic poets, including the following: Walt Whitman, W. S. Merwin, Marilyn L. Taylor, Emily Dickinson, Dick Allen, William Stafford, Sue Brennan Walker, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, William Trowbridge, Robert Penn Warren, Muriel Rukeyser, Mark Strand, Grace Paley, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Adrienne Rich, Joyce Brinkman, Juan Felipe, Herrera, Denise Low, Wendell Berry, Rita Dove, David Romtvedt, Sharon Olds, Luci Tapahonso, Kimberly Blaeser, Yusef Komunyakaa, Joy Harjo, Marjory Wentworth, Audre Lorde, Elizabeth Woody, Natasha Trethewey, Li-Young Lee, JoAnn Balingit, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Naomi Shahib Nye, Tracy K. Smith, and Richard Blanco. (Photo: from left, Audre Lorde, Meridel Le Sueur, and Adrienne Rich.)

    Recommended supplementary text: An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the United Poets Laureate of America, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Denise Low, Walter Bargen, and Marilyn L. Taylor. Ice Cube Press. NOTE: Special discounted rate for supplementary text available to those who enroll in this class.

    Week by Week

    Each unit includes:

    • 10-15 writing prompts 

    • 3-6 poems by visiting state poet laureate, U.S. or tribal poet laureate, and historic poet.

    • Handout on craft or other consideration by visiting poet laureate.

    • Essays and videos on poetry as a catalyze for social change and ecological stewardship.

    • Links to articles, interviews, websites, etc. featuring visiting poet laureate

    Who Should Take This Class

    This class is appropriate for those with any amount of experience writing poetry, from those who are interested in learning more and might be a bit nervous about it, to writers with years of experience who want to generate new work and brush up on elements of craft and be exposed to new contemporary writers, and how writing can be a positive force for change.

    NOTE: This class cannot count towards TLA Foundations Certification requirements.

    Format

    This is a self-paced online class. By self-paced, we mean that you do this class on your own without interacting with the teacher or a cohort group, and according to your own schedule, allowing you to engage with the the material on your own timeline. Each unit is full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 4-7 hours per unit perusing resources and readings and engaging in several writing prompts (although with so much material and so many writing prompts, students can certainly spend more time revisiting each unit to find more inspiration and ideas).

    About the Editor

    Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 KansasPoet Laureate, has created this class through study, experience, and in conversations with over a dozen state poets laureate (many of whom shared their best handouts and writing prompts). Caryn is the author of two dozen books, including the recent Miriam's Well, a novel; Following the Curve, poetry; and Everyday Magic, a collection of beloved blog posts and personal essays. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads Brave Voice writing and singing retreats. www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com

    • 05 Sep 2018
    • 16 Oct 2018
    • Online
    • 7
    Register

    When we discover, explore, and (re) connect with our voices—that perspective, knowledge, and expression that is uniquely ours—our life stories become intimate and emotionally powerful. We begin to offer a glimpse of what it’s like to live the complex constellation of privileges and disadvantages, joys and heartbreaks that are exclusive to each of us. Embarking on this type of self-reflective inquiry not only has the potential for healing and developing a greater understanding of one’s self and experience, it also holds the potential to open the hearts and consciousness of others, becoming narrative catalysts for change. Throughout this 6-week course, we will explore our various life experiences as a springboard for generating life stories that reflect our distinctive voices. By the end of the course, you will have a body of new writing, a clearer understanding of your writer voice, and an enhanced ability to connect with your audience. This course is also beneficial for non-writers, such as storytellers and other performers, who want to generate new material to use in their work. 

    Week by Week

    Week 1: (Re) Connecting with Our Voices

    This week we will explore the concept of voice and begin (re) connecting with and understanding our own.

    Week 2: Naming Our Uniqueness

    This week we will reflect on our various identities, as well as notions of belonging and difference.

    Week 3: Memory, Imagination & Truth-Telling

    This week we will consider the co-mingling of memories and imagination in our writing and what it means to tell the Truth in story.

    Week 4: Stories of Home & Family

    This week we will write stories of home and family, diving into our formative narratives.

    Week 5: Stories of Places and Locations

    This week we will contemplate how our voices are shaped by the places we come from and how the intersection of place and identity informs our language and stories.

    Week 6: Stories of the Past Illuminating the Present

    This week we will explore how stories of our past can illuminate the present as a basis for connecting with the reader/audience, building empathy and understanding.

    Who Should Take This Class?

    This class is ideal for a wide variety of people, including poets and writers of all genres, storytellers, healing arts professionals, teachers, songwriters, and anyone interested in reflecting on, writing about, and sharing their personal experiences as a way to make connection, build community, and foster understanding of self and others.

    Format

    This is an online class. Each week, you will receive a new collection of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week perusing resources and readings, participating in discussions, and engaging the writing prompts. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.

    About the Teacher

    Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens is an interdisciplinary educator, poet, writing coach, passionate scholar and determined optimist. She is the founder of A Brave Space, a learning community that seeks to create positive social change and personal transformation through writing. Her work has appeared in Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History: A Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia, Volume 2The Irish HeraldSoulstice: A Feminist Anthology Volume II, and Sandy River Review. Liz enjoys traveling, kickboxing, cycling, photography, and cooking. She has a deep love for language and a passion for teaching and supporting student success. Originally from Portland, Maine, she now lives in Oakland, California with her wife, Amber, and their two dogs, Schmoopie and Mr. Bits. You can learn more about her work, courses, and inspirations at http://www.drlizburke.com and http://www.abravespace.org.

    • 24 Oct 2018
    • 04 Dec 2018
    • Online
    • 11
    Register

    Explore how to use narrative-based models to strengthen your professional voice, better communicate who you are and what you do as a transformative language artist, and further shape the emerging field and practice of TLA.

    TLA practitioners, artists, activists, facilitators and scholars, we're often asked, “What's Transformative Language Arts?” In this class, we'll hone our abilities and build tools for communicating both the effectiveness of using the written, spoken and sung word for personal and communal change, and the specifics of our individual and community TLA work. Especially when working with people and cultures whose narratives are invisible and silenced, this kind of communication is particularly important to foster a new world of possibilities for healing, creativity and voice. Such models also lift the TLA profession and the reputation of the great people doing good work in the world.

    Yvette will use her TLA-inspired model to offer practical “how to” guidance that strengthens the profession, helps you establish an expert voice, and better creatively showcase your work for a variety of audiences and uses. This course provides a framework of three anchors for promoting your TLA skill and expertise: Scholarly Personal Narratives, Authoethnography, and Story Branding.

    If you are imagining a way to effectively and passionately convey your the whys, whos, and whats of your practice and to market yourself effectively, this is the course for you. In a nutshell, this course will guide participants to succinctly name: This is my body of work. This is who I am. This is who I work with.

    Participants can expect to:

    • Share experiences to further the knowledge of the TLA field through writings and professional presentations
    • Advocate, educate, and pass on TLA practices to promote learning and development
    • Weave between research, writing, practice, theory, and experience
    • Develop a TLA niche and target audience to support Right Livelihood
    • Apply templates for storytelling
    Participants will reflect on and write a high level overview of their TLA theory and practice suitable for publication in order to make an impact and advance TLA’s reputation in the field. The framework used to write their overview can be repeated in writing about more detailed TLA research and practices. Using a story branding process, participants will build a narrative model for marketing and branding themselves and creating a story profile for their target market.

    Week by Week

    Week One: Introduction to TLA Practice as Personal Story, Research, and Theory: This week, we'll explore who we are, what's our TLA practice, and our goals for the class as well as learn more about various forms of sharing our TLA work to lift up the field of TLA while enhancing our own work.

    Week Two: Who Am I and What is My Work: This week, we dive deeper into first person storytelling on our histories and how it connects to our TLA work. We shall produce several short personal essays.

    Week Three: Personal Essay Feedback and Introduction to Elements of Scholarship Personal Narrative: We will exchange strengths-based feedback to refine our short personal essays. We'll also be introduced to Scholarly Personal Narrative and ways we can turn our experience into relatable scholarly research that adds value to the TLA field of study. We will begin thinking about possible TLA SPN topics.

    Week Four: Diving Deeper into Scholarly Personal Narrative: We will select an SPN topic, how our experience (personal essays) connect with the topic, and how the topic connects to a larger world view. We'll outline/mind map a piece of SPN writing. We'll brainstorm pertinent external resources that need to be noted in our SPN. Through sharing feedback with one another, we can further enhance how we convey our work, experience, goals, capacities, and vision.

    Week Five: SPN Manuscript Draft and Brainstorm Uses for our TLA Class Writings: We'll develop a solid SPN draft and exchange strengths-based feedback. We will brainstorm creative ways to use our personal short story writings and SPN manuscript to further our TLA practice.

    Week Six: Build a Framework for Story Branding: We'll wrap up class by identifying and selecting publishing outlets, marketing opportunities, and branding options for our refined TLA writings.

    Who Should Take This Class

    This online class is for facilitators and practitioners (whether you're a writer, storyteller, performer, activist, educator, healer, or community leader) wishing to creatively document your work; craft strong writing of your background, experience and offerings for your print and web marketing materials; and create various form of TLA scholarship centered on your story and vision. This online class works well for individuals wishing dedicated time to write about their storytelling, personal narrative, and narrative storytelling based facilitation practice. This course will help participants write about their practice from a creative-scholar-based framework, and learn how to establish their “brand” and marketing through stories.

    Format

    Participants can expect to spend 3-6 hours a week in an online format checking out posted resources, assigned readings, brief slide presentations, sample writings for discussion, and templates, creative prompts, and exercises to initiate writing. Participants will receive and give strengths-based and positive feedback when responding to peers’ work.

    About the Teacher

    Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams, MA-TLA, Principal and Chief Storytelling Officer at Narratives for Change: I am a writer, teaching-artist, and transformative narrative coach. Currently, my research and writing projects center around analyzing personal experience for women and girls to understand their cultural realities. This social action writing confronts pressing issues that women and girls face, and I publish as research reports, journal articles, book chapters and on blogs. In addition to my writing projects and teaching creative and expressive writing, I help leaders and teams embrace transformative change using narrative models that promote transparency, positive reframing of language, and from a strengths-based philosophy. My history includes deep experience and training in applied behavioral science and mindfulness-based practices. I have a strong business background as Senior Vice President and corporate banker heading up a change management strategy division; as President, and Chief Executive Officer for a boutique change management consulting firm, and as President of a non-profit education institution for adult experiential learning and professional development. Today, I run Narrative for Change, a social enterprise whose mission is creative pathaways for women and girls to advocate for herself and her tribes through written, spoken, and visual storytelling.

    • 24 Oct 2018
    • 04 Dec 2018
    • Online
    • 11
    Register

    We live in concentric circles, starting at our most local home of our bodies, and rippling out through our homes, communities, ecoregions, continents, planet, and the cosmos. Drawing on a bioregional perspective that home informs who we are and how we are to live, this class will bring participants together in council, creatively writing out our truths and into our questions to find companionship along and joy throughout the journey. The writing and storytelling prompts will be accompanied by occasional expressive arts explorations as we seek home through poetry, stories, songs, and other forms of TLA (your choice!). Along the way, we'll explore identity, callings, embodiment, personal history, ecology, and what it means to both live in time and place. Most of all, we'll be illuminating how to make the visible – what's right here in/of our bodies, dwellings, local terrain, weather and skies – more visible, and use that new vision as a lantern to lead us toward greater homecoming.

    Ah, not to be cut off,

    not through the slightest partition

    shut out from the law of the stars.

    The inner -- what is it?

    if not the intensified sky,

    hurled through with birds and deep

    with the winds of homecoming.

    ~ Rainer Maria Rilke


    Week by Week

    Week 1 / Home to the Body: Our Most Local Address: Our most intimate home is the local ecosystem of being a body. We'll romp and roll through prompts and questions about what our bodies have to say and how they say it over our history, and consider through what we create the possibilities of more embodied writing and living.

    Week 2 / Dwellings and What It Means to Make a Home: What does it mean to live in a house, apartment, yurt or wherever you hang your hat and aim yourself toward a good night's sleep on a regular basis? Drawing on such works as Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, we'll write and play our way into the signs and symbols we find right at home and over time in our various dwellings.

    Week 3 / Watersheds and Watershed Moments: Our homes are part of a watershed, the area that is drained by a river, creek, stream or other defining ground of our waterways. At the same time, we'll look at the watershed moments of our lives that changed everything, and how to gain greater vision of what such moments mean, and how to understand, honor, and learn from our inner and outer watersheds.

    Week 4 / Ecoregions and Mapping Our Stories: Expanding out, we land in our land form, whether we live in the tallgrass prairie, the eastern woodlands, the Sonoran desert, the Rocky Mountains or elsewhere. In exploring a little more about the common plant and animal associations of your area, you can also cultivate greater connections with the more-than-human species among us. At the same time we look at mapping where we live in place, we'll play with mapping where we are in time by following the lines and curves of the stories we've lived.

    Week 5 / Earth and Sky: We're part of an evolving, ailing, regenerating, suffering and changing planet. At the same time, the sky begins at our feet, and we live in weather -- both inner and outer. This week journeys into the centers of our earths and sweeps across the skies of our imaginations as we use our writing to connect with the larger planet and constantly shifting sky.

    Week 6 / The Cosmos: The Visible and Invisible: Our plant floats in a vast universe, and beyond our universe, universes beyond universes, only a sliver visible to us. In concentrating on what we can learn about the cosmos and our local universe, we'll also journey through the cosmos of our infinite imaginations. This week also includes some circling back to body and place prompts to better see the concentric circles of home where we live, what we've created, and what calls to us beyond this call.

    Who Should Take This Class

    This class is ideal for people who do word arts–writing, storytelling, spoken word, theater, and other forms of TLA–and are ready to put themselves out there more in the world and in their work. The innovative exercises and engaging discussions make this class appropriate for both new and seasoned word artists.

    Format

    This is an online class, yet we strive to come together in council, reaching across the miles to hold one another's words and reflect deeply on what we discover individually and together. Each week will include an exploration of a particular writer (in various genres), such as David Abram, Linda Hogan, William Stafford, Pattiann Rogers and others; a discussion on the craft of strong writing; several writing, storytelling and/or expressive arts prompts to lead you to your own best words; and a discussion question to ponder.

    Each week, a new section of the course will open full of resources, reflections, exercises, discussion questions, and writing, storytelling and expressive arts prompts. Students should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week perusing resources and readings, answering a discussion question, engaging in exercises, and responding to peers’ work

    About the Teacher

    Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet, is the author of over 20 books, including most recently, the novel Miriam's Well; a collection of essays, Everyday Magic; and a new book of yoga and embodiment poetry, Following the Curve.  She also wrote Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir on cancer and community; and five poetry collections, including the award-winning Chasing Weather: Tornadoes, Tempests, and Thunderous Skies in Word and Image with weather chase/photographer Stephen Locke. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads Brave Voice writing and singing retreats. Caryn is a long-time organizer of the bioregional movement, and helped found the Kansas Area Watershed Council, an the Continental Bioregional Congress. She's also co-founder of the TLA Network and serves on the TLAN council. She lives just south of Lawrence with various humans and animals, in love with her people, place, community, and the big, wild sky. More at www.carynMirriamGoldberg.com. (Photo by Stephen Locke)

Past Classes

27 Jun 2018 & They Call Us Crazy: Outsider Writing to Cross the Borders of Human Imagination // with Caits Meissner
27 Jun 2018 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennye Patterson
27 Jun 2018 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
04 Apr 2018 Stories with Spirit: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice // with Regi Carpenter
14 Mar 2018 Writing for Social Change: Redream a Just World // with Anya Achtenberg
21 Feb 2018 Funding Transformation: Grant Writing for Storytellers, Writers, Artists, Educators, & Activists // with Diane Silver
10 Jan 2018 Fantastic Folktales & Visionary Angles to Transform Our Stories // with Lyn Ford
18 Oct 2017 Writing Our Lives: The Poetic Self & Transformation // with Dr. Liz Burke-Cravens
18 Oct 2017 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
06 Sep 2017 Your Memoir as Monologue: How to Create Dynamic Dramatic Monologues About Healing and Transformation for Performance // with Kelly DuMar
06 Sep 2017 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennifer Patterson
14 Jun 2017 The Five Senses and Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry // with Angie River
14 Jun 2017 The Poetics of Witness: Writing Beyond the Self // with Caits Meissner
19 Apr 2017 Diving and Emerging: Finding Your Voice and Identity in Personal Stories // with Regi Carpenter
01 Mar 2017 How Pictures Heal: Honoring Memory & Loss through Expressive Writing from Personal Photos // with Kelly DuMar
01 Mar 2017 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations // with Joanna Tebbs-Young
11 Jan 2017 Your Callings, Your Livelihood, Your Life // With Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
11 Jan 2017 Values of the Future Through Transformative Language Arts // with Doug Lipman
26 Oct 2016 Leverage Your TLA Expertise for Publication, Community, Business, and Livelihood // with Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams
26 Oct 2016 Not Enough Spoons: Writing About Disability & Chronic Illness // with Angie River
14 Sep 2016 Wound Dwelling: Writing the Survivor Body(ies) // with Jennifer Patterson
14 Sep 2016 Creating a Sustainable Story: Self-Care, Meaningful Work, and the Business of Creativity // with Laura Packer
29 Jun 2016 Coming Home to Body, Earth, and Time: Writing From Where We Live // with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
29 Jun 2016 Making the Leap into Work You Love // with Scott Youmans
18 May 2016 Changing the World with Words: TLA Foundations
18 May 2016 Saturated Selfies: Intentional and Intense Photography and Writing
28 Mar 2016 Gathering Courage: Still-Doing, Big Journaling, and Other (Not So Scary) Ways to Begin Accommodating the Soul
15 Feb 2016 Living Out Loud: Healing Through Storytelling and Writing
15 Feb 2016 Soulful Songwriting: How To Begin, Collaborate, And Finish Your Song
04 Jan 2016 Your Memoir as Monologue: How to Create Dynamic Dramatic Monologues About Healing and Transformation for Performance
04 Jan 2016 The Five Senses and the Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Kansas, P.O. Box 442633, Lawrence, KS 66044

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