Patricia Tyrer, professor, West Texas A&M

Pat Tyrer, an Okoboji Writers’ Retreat pioneer, is a writer and lover of literature who hikes Palo Duro Canyon, Texas bird watching when the sun is up and stargazing when it’s not.

Tyrer has written three Poetry Books, ten book chapters, numerous academic articles, and 30+ short stories, essays, a memoir, and has written newspaper film reviews for the Canyon News for five years.

She holds the Jenny Lind Porter Endowed Professorship in English and has been on the faculty of West Texas A&M University since 2002. When not reading or writing, she can be found walking with her dog Emma and any number of her five children and seven grandchildren. Her creative work has appeared in Readers’ Digest, Quiet Mountain Essays, Front Porch Review, Bewildering Stories, Plum Tree Tavern and includes three books of poetry, Creative Hearts, Western Spaces, Western Places, and Pandemic Poets of the Panhandle.

Pat offers a completely hands-on introduction to using poetry as a way to inform and inspire whatever type of writing the participant is interested in pursuing. She will provide hand-outs and short poetry prompts and encourage workshop participants to share in a round-robin. Pat introduces simple poetry forms yet promotes imaginative thinking in a safe environment. Participants will receive support, encouragement, and direction. Poetic forms would include two or more of the following, depending on time, production, and interest:

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!

Haiku (Basho)
Spring is passing.
The birds cry, and the fishes fill
With tears on their eyes.

Little Willie Poems
In the family drinking well,
Willie pushed his sister Nelle,
She’s there yet, because it kilt her.
Now we’ll have to buy a filter.

Heroic Couplets
Blessed are you whose worthiness gives scope,
Being had, to triumph, being lacked, to hope.

Epigrams (Emerson)
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, 
adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

Free Verse (Fall’s Approach)
I feel the cool wind brush across my toes
reaching out of my sandals in the early
morning from my porch swing.
It is still summer yet the voice of fall murmurs
through the cottonwoods turning their leaves
upward to reflect their silver undersides.
The smallest birds on the weakest twigs 
of the highest branches are the first to sing
upon the approach of the sun whose
rays barely crest the horizon.
The neighborhood is still except for
the wind, the birds, and me.

Topic Titles:

Taking the Road Less Traveled; in this hands-on poetry workshop, you’ll learn some of the humorous, short forms, including Limericks, Haikus, and Little Willie poems in a safe, supportive environment. We’ll write and share our work in a round-robin exchange. We’ll examine poetic forms that promote imaginative thinking and expand your creative powers. You’ll take away a journal filled with poetry prompts and examples to continue your study.

Bird by Bird: Tackling the Longer Forms of Poetry,

In this hands-on workshop, we’ll look at some of the longer, more complicated forms in poetry, working through each step-by-step with guides and handouts. Forms may include the English sonnet, the French Villanelle and Sestina, and a few strategic shorter warm-up poems to get us pondering subjects that require more intense consideration. Handouts will include specific directions, examples, and ideas for continuing your experimentation with the long forms.

Yes, But What Does it Mean? Join in reading and analyzing some of the best-loved poems by writers from Shakespeare to Emily Dickinson to Billy Collins. Learn the vocabulary of discussing poetry and the techniques of reading it aloud. You’re welcome to bring your poetry for the workshop participants to read and analyze. A selection of well-known poems will be provided, and a brief glossary of poetic terms.

For a complete list of SPEAKERS