Poiema is an online community of writers, creatives, and culture makers who are learning to think wisely and write eloquently about the human experience through a sustained engagement in the Great Conversation.
Poiema offers courses on writing and the Great Books for students and adults who want to cultivate the life of the mind and enrich their creative pursuits.
Though one does not have to be a Christian to study at Poiema, faith is central to our community, and we teach from the perspective that every individual is eternally significant, humanity has been created in the image of divinity, and creative work can be a meaningful way of exploring and conceptualizing transcendent mystery.
To be clear, the aim of Poiema is not to cultivate writers of sanitized literature, “Christian” fiction, or sectarian dogma. The aim of Poiema is to help writers of all backgrounds and traditions think through and write about the important perennial human questions (i.e., truth, goodness, beauty, liberty, equality, justice, faith, sin, eternity, wealth, language, family, friendship, etc.).
In other words, Poiema does not exist to instruct writers and creatives on what to think, but on how to think wisely, as well as write eloquently, about the worlds they create, the topics they explore, and the issues they address.
Art, in sworn opposition to chaos, discovers by its process what it can say. That’s art’s morality.
The Poiema Distinctive
Whoever would make of himself a distinctive individual must be keen to perceive what he is not.
– Friedrich Schleiermacher
Through the ages, writers have tended to succeed under the guidance of mentors who were versed in the great literature of the world, and had themselves made significant progress in mastering the craft of writing.
In the modern world, serious writers often pursue a degree in letters or the fine arts to get their training.
Since M.F.A. programs have become much more competitive and rather expensive (about $30k-$60k), many writers choose to explore suitable alternatives.
For example, some opt to take the journey alone, read a lot of books, put in their 10,000 hours of practice, and hope for a break along the way.
Others gamble their hard-earned money and valuable time on one of the myriad online hack courses promising a published book and a writing career to anyone willing to pay them for the secret to their success.
Poiema exists to offer a distinct alternative.
We train writers in the time-honored disciplines of classical writing–rhetoric and humane letters. It’s the proven approach that cultivated writers like Dante, Milton, and Shakespeare; Lewis, Tolkien and Chesterton; and Eliot, O’Connor, and Robinson.
If you are serious about writing, you don’t have to break the bank, forfeit good instruction, or gamble with your dream of shaping the world with your words.
Instead, for a fair and reasonable tuition, we will teach you how to write with wisdom, imagination, and eloquence because we do more than teach the craft of writing; we teach writers how to enrich the well from which they draw their inspiration.
Is Poiema Right For You?
Poiema may be right for you:
- If you want an M.F.A. experience without the cost of a university degree.
- If you long to leave a legacy with your words.
- If you want to contribute to the timeless body of venerable literature.
- If you are drawn to the rich treasures one finds in reading good books.
- If you are a speaker who wants to learn the ancient art of rhetoric.
- If you are a teacher desiring to expand your knowledge of the Great Books.
- If you are a minister who wants to expand your biblical imagination.
- If you are a creative professional in need of rich inspiration.
- If you homeschool and are looking for a classical Christian education.
- If you want to learn to think holistically about faith, culture, and creativity.
- If you simply want to learn to write well.
Genius is the ability to put into effect what is in your mind. There’s no other definition of it.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
What If I’m not a Writer?
You do not have to be a writer to profit from the Poiema course of study.
As the saying goes, “readers are leaders.” Learning to read like a writer and write like a creative professional is essentially learning the art of thinking well.
By learning these skills from the greatest minds of the past 2500 years, modern creative professionals have the potential to stand out as unique and talented in their respective fields.
At Poiema, you will be learning directly from the poets and philosophers of the Western tradition under the guidance of a qualified tutor.
While it’s true, strictly speaking, even the best teachers cannot produce knowledge and wisdom in a student, they can, as Socrates asserted, act as midwives to those students who are ready to give birth to their education.
The Poiema experience allows creative professionals who want to learn (e.g., they are ready to give birth) every opportunity to gain wisdom and eloquence in the skills of interpretation, communication, and motivation directly from the minds of those who have, in the most literal sense, shaped our Western civilization.
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