ARCHIVE FOR Ben Berman

The Importance of Embracing Contradictions

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In this post, Ben Berman looks at the importance of embracing contradictions and mixed emotions when writing poems.

 

 

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the great researcher of creativity, has written a lot about conflict and dialectical tensions in his research on creative personality traits. In his study of some of the most eminent creators of the 20th Century (Nobel Prize winners in every field of study), he found that many of these people shared what he called antithetical traits, and he grouped these into ten categories

 

According to Csikszentmihalyi, creative people often exhibit these paradoxical traits – they ...

September 11, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice

The Importance of Flexible Thinking

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In this post, GrubStreet instructor Ben Berman discusses how learning to think flexibly can help us be more creative.

 

 

Flexible thinking refers to our ability to shift or reframe how we are thinking about an idea.

When psychologists measure one’s aptitude for creativity, they often focus on this aspect of thinking. How many uses can you find for a brick? they ask, before grading the responses based on fluency, originality, flexibility and elaboration.

August 14, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice The Writing Life

How Form and Content Work Together

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In this post, GrubStreet Instructor Ben Berman discusses the importance of attending to both form and content when composing and reading poems.

 

 

The other day I asked my eight-year-old what would be the first thing that she would buy if she had her own money. I’m not sure, she said, but it definitely wouldn’t be anything made out of plastic because that’s bad for the earth, and I think I’d want something that would keep me healthy.

July 10, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice

The Challenges and Joys of Teaching Poetry

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GrubStreet instructor Ben Berman discusses the challenges and joys of teaching poetry, as he prepares to lead professional development for teachers this summer.

 

 

This summer, I am very excited for the opportunity to lead some professional development for teachers through Mass Poetry. However, one of my rituals –whenever I begin preparing to teach anything – is to immediately doubt everything I know

Ben Berman

Grub News The Workshop The Writing Life

What I’ve Learned about Writing from Movies

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GrubStreet Instructor, Ben Berman, discusses how we must learn to shift between different mindsets throughout the writing process.

My five-year-old is obsessed with Kung Fu Panda – though the scratches all over my neck are not from her best impersonation of Tigress but because every time we try to watch the movie she gets so scared that she clutches onto me for dear life.

May 8, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice The Writing Life