Jake Friedman: "The Poetics of Spreadsheets: Using Spreadsheets to Compose Poetry"
Jake Friedman

How do we write a poem? Let us count the ways. Paper and pencil. Word processors. Typewriters. Cell phones. Spreadsheets?

In this practical, hands-on workshop, join writer, editor and community organizer Jake Friedman as he introduces the spreadsheet as a powerful new tool for writing poetry.

Everyone has their own way of coming to a poem—an image, a phrase, some other source of inspiration. But regardless of how individualized or unique one's creative process may be, when it comes to the physical, manual process—the actual writing itself—our technique is pretty much the same: pencil and paper, word processors, or some combination of the two. As writers, we tend to privilege our messages over our mediums. We think more about what we're trying to say than how we actually say it. What we don't think about, though, is how do these technologies shape and condition the creative process, and the other strategies that might be available to us to help get the words out of our head.

In this practical, hands-on workshop, we'll introduce the spreadsheet as another way to write poetry through lecture, workshop, and conversation. By the end, the hope is that you'll not only come away with a powerful new tool for composition, revision, workshop, and completion, but a deeper understanding of poetic structure itself. Students should bring a poem in-progress along with a computer, tablet, or some other device with a spreadsheet application, and any other tools they would normally use to write.

  • Cost: $25 + fees.
  • Writers of all experience levels welcome.
  • Refunds will not be issued within one day of the event.
  • Bring pen/pencil and a notebook.

JAKE FRIEDMAN is a writer, editor, and community organizer. Currently, he serves as the Marketing and Outreach Specialist at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. Prior to that, he founded and ran an independent community literary magazine and small press called Four Chambers. At one point, he interned for the Arizona Commission for the Arts. He has also been moderating a weekly writing group through the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop for the past 7 years, among other things. He lives in Phoenix, AZ with his partner and a cat.