Saturday, August 8, 2009

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" (August 23, 2009)

For one of the seventeen Shakespeareans who read aloud "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Menlo Park on August 23, 2009, the afternoon brought to her mind moments of a very famous production of this play that she had witnessed : Director Peter Brook's 1970 interpretation for The Royal Shakespeare Company. (So innovating was this staging of Shakespeare's classic comedy, that it is remembered as "Peter Brook's Dream," and became a standard reference for late 20th-century "modern" Shakespearean productions.)

The presence of two old friends who had been with me since the beginning of my Shakespeare Reading Club adventures in the 1980's brought special happiness and continuity to the event: Tom, who has attended every version of "Shakespeare Reading Club" since 1983, and Ron, who literally drove over Straight to Shakespeare from SFO where his plane landed that morning and who now lives in Milwaukee. Old friends mixed with new ones as we explored, savored, and discussed Shakespeare's poetry throughout the afternoon.

-- Clifford Schwartz

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What is CliffHoldsPoetryCourt?

CliffHoldsPoetryCourt® is a blog for participants in two workshops facilitated by Clifford Joseph Schwartz, MA, and which meet regularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. For information and to contact us, please email:

1. Clifford's Experiential Shakespeare Reading Workshops — Shakesperience! ®:
CJS organizes people from all walks of life into operative teams who read aloud entire Shakespeare Plays in one sitting. We meet in private homes or in public spaces with a homey, comfortable environment which allows eating food. These Experiential Shakespeare Reading Workshops involve groups ranging from a minimum quorum of twelve (12) people and up to a maximum of twenty (20) participants. Individuals may hire CJS to conduct an Experiential Shakespeare Workshop in their own homes for their choice of family, friends, or social contacts. Corporations may hire CJS to conduct an Experiential Shakespeare Workshop for employees or business contacts to enhance and develop cordial and trusting human resources.

2. Structured Conversation with Poetry® is a workshop facilitated by Clifford Joseph Schwartz, MA, in which participants explore the history of poetry in the English language while using that poetry to seize the power of words to discover and express what it is that we truly think and feel.
Principle for Structured Conversation with Poetry® :
• We avoid chit-chat and small talk
• We develop and expand our listening skills as we build a civilized conversation.
• We do not interrupt or debate.
• We practice active and consistent listening to replace gratuitous verbal sparring.
• We think aloud and wonder aloud.
• We explore and discover intellectually.
• Through structured conversation with poetry we uncover and express the meanings in our lives.
• English majors & former college English majors delightedly share and teach their knowledge about poetry.
• Poetry Beginners are Welcome!
• No homework! Preparation between meetings is not required.

1. CJS invites you to ask questions about his Masters Thesis. Email to
Masters Thesis Title:"The Sea and the Mirror: W.H. Auden's Poetic Commentary on Shakespeare's The Tempest".