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Raising the Stakes -- Maximizing Rhetorical Devices in Poetry with Sarah Blake

In workshops, we sometimes talk about how a poem needs to raise its stakes, but what does that mean? Stakes can be as simple as what's literally at stake for a speaker in the poem's story—maybe their marriage or even their life is at risk. But often the tricky part is making the reader invest in the poem's outcome, getting the reader to care and feel that the poem is exploring something important. In this workshop, we will look at how poems engage their readers and make their readers care. We'll do close readings of poems by C.D. Wright, Shane McCrae, Catie Rosemurgy, Angel Nafis, and others to help us generate ideas. We’ll also write new poems of our own. Feel free to bring in poems-in-progress that you might revise as we discuss concrete strategies for making our poems matter to our readers.

$95

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