libby Bernardin libby bernardin

Current Workshop

Waccamaw Campus of Coastal Carolina University
Lifelong learning (OLLI)
February 24 to March 17
10 am — 1pm

Making good use of what we see: Description

Participants will focus on "seeing": using the right detail to make a poem come alive. Choosing details that create a sense of complexity and nuance of language as opposed to just describing something seen.

For more information, contact OLLI at Waccamaw at 843-349-2767 or Register @

About My Workshops

My philosophy in teaching workshops mirrors William Stafford in that I like to discover the best in a poet — what I see that is working well. I do point out what needs more work, but I don't see it as my job to "fix" the poem.

I follow the advice of Claire Cooperstein found in William Stafford's book The Answers Are Inside the Mountains. Cooperstein suggests that her job as workshop leader is to help a poet "to learn to be self-critical, to become aware, through interaction with other people, that language is social."

I would add that my job is to establish a community of participants where all learn, share and trust while in my workshops. When working with students we read the work of published poets to see how something is done technically and to enrich language and to find the pleasure of the best poets.

We need readers to respond to our work. We just have to choose our readers carefully — those whom we trust. For that purpose, when conducting a workshop, I emphasize community where all work together to encourage each other.