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The 17-Syllable Sentence Workshop

17 syllable sentence workshop

It's what Allen Ginsberg coined "the American sentence." Discard for a moment your surprise or curiosity that it be "American," per se. It's a remarkable exercise, and one we wanted to share with you!

There was some science to how Ginsberg came to craft this exercise, of course. You can read about the history via the link below, but FIRST take a look at this event we've built around it!

Here's the deal: you craft a sentence. It can be poetic, pensive, parodic—whatever you want it to be, as long as it's exactly 17 syllables. You can craft several if you like to see which you dig best.

And then, this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Central, we're guiding a workshop on Zoom to go through everyone's sentences to work what we did well and look for opportunities to do other things better.

What can you fit into 17 syllables in a single sentence? Can you do it without any "ands" or "buts?" How much of a story can you summon? How much of a picture can you paint?

At the end of the workshop, you're going to either rewrite your sentence of choice or write a new one to see how the feedback plays out.

This exercise gets so fun so fast!

We'll post some examples in the comments. You can post yours, too, or save them up to share in the workshop on Zoom this Saturday. Please go to FB to RSVP or email us and we’ll share you the link to the Zoom Meeting!

P.S. You earn a virtual cookie if you spot what is wrong with this sentence!

Read more about the American Sentence here:

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