Tuesday, March 13, 2012
a concept that never really took
the marathon poetry workshop: an idea whose time has passed (presumably)
it was in the 1970s I think that the concept of marathon group therapy sessions was most popular . . . the therapy group would stay together in a house for a weekend, during each day of which they would engage in a group session that lasted 14 to 16 hours straight (including meals), and breaking only for an 8-hour sleep period . . . the sustained time and focus (and perhaps especially the stress and exhaustion) generated by these nonstop marathon therapy sessions would lead, supposedly, theoretically, to self-discoveries and psychological insights not achievable in the group's normal regular meetings . . .
so: the idea was to do the same thing with a poetry workshop group . . . imagine a workshop that goes on for 15-16 hours straight without a break, 3 days in a row: 45 hours of poetry workshop in one weekend . . . many of you reading this probably know the dramas and traumas of meeting for two hours once or twice a week stretched out over a semester (even most private seminars or peergroups are usually held only once a week) . . . what if you compressed all of that workshop time into a 3-4-5 days intensive? what breakthroughs or breakdowns, what inscapes or outscrapes, what energies and enigmas might ensue . . .
—maybe it would have worked better with a peergroup, where "leadership" rotates . . .
i wonder if group therapy is ever practiced in a marathon format anymore; the idea seems such an archaism from the 1960-70s, like living in communes . . .