Kalliope On Line Poetry Workshop Banner




Join Us





Please sign our Guestbook


Kalliope is a list that focuses on developing the craft of poetry through group participation in exercise examples of various poetic techniques. Kalliope is designed as a basic course in poetry, with lab.

Members learn by critiquing each other's poetry, as well as by writing. Contribution of primers and exercises is also encouraged.



The first thirty Primers are posted on the Kalliope web page in the Exercise Archive. As additional Primers are written, they will be posted.

These Primers describe many aspects of poetry, both basic and advanced. We may never get it all covered, but we're going to take a good run at it. If you practice and master these techniques and actually use them, you will put more into your poetry and get more out of it than you did before you started this course.

Each Primer includes one or more Exercises designed to practice the techniques discussed in the Primer. The Exercises include both Criteria for Writing and Criteria for Critiquing.

There are many different Kalliope list groups, and each has its own choice of operation. On several lists, everyone does the same exercise at the same time (although you get to vote on which exercises to do). On other lists, everyone does the exercise they choose from the website archives at any time.

Besides your work on-list, however, you are undoubtedly reading other poets and poetic references and writing, writing, writing. If you aren't, we'll help you get started.

The Kalliope web pages include an extensive list of on-line and printed reference material. Any member without web access may request printed reference sheets from List Admin.

You are welcome to submit your own exercises, or ideas for exercises. Please follow the Standard Exercise Format. Also, while you are critiquing, critique our exercises.


There are now a number of Kalliope lists. The most active currently is 123kalliope@yahoogroups.com. Members do exercises in the order they personally choose. There are also occasional contests onlinst, and the list has even publisheed their own chapbook.

To send mail to the list, use the address listname@yahoogroups.com

You can also go to your community address by the link above and post from there.

For administrative questions or to change your subscription options, use the following addresses:

To unsubscribe:
Go to your community address above. Sign in with your email address and Yahoo user password. or
Send email to listname-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
To stop receiving mail for a period of time:
Go to your community address above. Sign in with your email address and Yahoo user password.
To switch from receiving individual emails to receiving one daily compilation:
Go to your community address above. Sign in with your email address and Yahoo user password.
To read the email archives:
Go to your community address above. Sign in with your email address and Yahoo user password.
Questions that require a live person's answer: anitra@spamcop.net. Please specify which Kalliope list you are on!

Of course you are also always welcome to write to me (anitra@spamcop.net) if you need additional help. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy and benefit from your membership in Kalliope.


Anything you write and post to the Kalliope list is your own property. Some posters feel more secure adding the following at the BEGINNING of the body of each post:
Copyright 2002 your first and last name
All Rights Reserved
In place of the word, copyright, the actual copyright symbol © can be used, though not (c) which isn't legally acceptable.

As soon as your poem is written, signed, and dated, however, it is copyrighted. No one reads Kalliope posts except members subscribed to Kalliope. Forwarding or printing any Kalliope post anywhere else, without the author's express permission, is grounds for permanent bar from all Kalliope lists.

All Primers and exercises posted to the list are the property of the author. This material was put together with a lot of work by several different people. Please respect the effort that went into it and do not circulate the material beyond this list without express permission.

Please do not post on the Kalliope list material from a book or other source that is not your own, unless by written permission of the author. If you feel that the material you want to use is in public domain, or allowable under fair use, please contact the List Admin (anitra@spamcop.net) before posting.


The only requirement for membership is a willingness to work at your craft and to help and encourage your fellow poets.

Introducing yourself to the list helps people feel easier communicating with you, and you with them. When you subscribe, you get an introductory exercise, "Why Write?" that you might like to use as your introduction.


Kalliope currently has no formal participation requirements. But we all need feedback, and we learn by critiquing as much as we do by writing. This is our opportunity -- all of us together -- to build a workshop list that is totally unique, a learning laboratory for poetry. The more we put into it, the more we will get out of it.


These guidelines are totally voluntary, and more honored in the breach than in the observance.

To help everyone keep their mail sorted, please include in all Kalliope subject lines:

TOPIC TITLE: EXERCISE NAME: Submitter Name: Critter Name

You are not only permitted to use intials or short nicknames, instead of full names -- you are actively encouraged to do so.

Kalliope's Topics are:

Used ONLY by List Admin, for posting the next Primer or Exercise
Exer: or Exercise:
may be used by any member for posting additional exercises
Used ONLY by List Admin, for other List Admin announcements.
for what you have written to an Exercise.
for your critique of another's Sub.
for any other discussion.

Each Exercise has a title.

You can indicate a rewrite of a previous post by putting -REV after the exercise title. You can even number your revisions. We'll let you know if you've gone into over-edit.

Examples of subject headers:

PRIMER: "What's a Meta Phor?"
Posting the session Primer, this one on Metaphor.
SUB: Metaphor, alf
I am submitting my poem on the exercise "Metaphor", under the initials for Anitra Lenore Freeman.
CRIT: Metaphor, alf, acm
A.C. Missias posts a critique of my poem on the exercise "Metaphor".

Use of the topic title is optional. Some lists find it easier to sort posts by exercise instead of by topic. Take a look at how your list is doing it -- and do ask, if you aren't sure.

Spontaneous poems You can submit poems you have written that are not opn any particular exercise, too. Just us the title of the poem in place of the Exercise title.


We are, of course, trying to write the best poetry we can, that is the most meaningful to us. We are also learning specific techniques. Each Exercise has specific guidelines to use while writing, to practice a particular skill. Each Exercise also has specific guidelines to use while critiquing, to increase our awareness of that skill or technique. Each poem may be critiqued on any and all criteria you usually use on a poem, but the more you apply the specific criteria given in the exercise, the more thoroughly you will learn that specific technique.

Member's Web Page

You have the option of posting your name, email address, web page address, short bio, and even a sample of poetry to the Kalliope Member's Web page. You may choose not to be listed, or to have only the information of your choice listed. There is now even a Members Board where you can update your own information and not have to wait on Anitra!

There is also a Shared Files area at the Yahoo Groups site where you can post whatever you want to share -- this will only be visible to other subscribers.

Member's Webring

We also have a Kalliope webring. A webring is a way of linking any number of similar sites with one small set of standard links like "Next" "Previous" and "List." Link information on each site is kept in a central database, and individual webmasters don't have to update their links whenever a site is added, deleted, or changed.

You can vist the sites in the webring, or join, from the Webring list page.

There is also now a Kalliope forum page at Webring.


We are here to support each other. There will be NO personal attacks of any kind.

Someone disagreeing with your use of a metaphor is not a personal attack. Someone saying that your rhythm is faulty is not a personal attack. Whatever a critique says, take what you can use, and leave the rest.

When you critique, critique with the intention of helping that poet show more of themselves, and to understand and utilize techniques likely to secure a wider audience for their work -- not to turn them into you, nor to show that you know more than they do. Do not praise all indiscriminately, but do be encouraging, not condemning.

Write On!

Return to Index Page