Poetic Narratives: Writing the Varied and Whole Story with DéLana R. A. Dameron

NOTE: The final class in this six-week series will be held on Sunday, November 19, 2017, 11:30am-2:00pm

“We tell this story every year,” Natasha Trethewey says in “Incident" from her prize-winning collection Native Guard. What happens when you tell and re-tell a story? How does the story sound from multiple perspectives? How was the story told five years ago? Yesterday? Today? How will you tell it, and through what lens, tomorrow?

Make it New: Writing Against Ritual and Habit with Jenny Xie

“I will do anything to avoid boredom. You can never know enough…never leave the mind quickly enough,” wrote Anne Carson in her introduction to “Short Talks.” This class will heed Carson’s spirit of openness and rich curiosity, and investigate the pleasures of writing toward self-surprise. How do we avoid the trap of self-imitation and reinvigorate our work? How can the strange and the unexpected be a source of energy and revelation? We will begin the course by diagnosing patterns and recurring motions in our own work, and then labor to jostle ourselves out of our usual familiar rhythms.

New Forms, New Tricks with Sharon Dolin

"Craft is a trick you make up to let you write the poem," Anne Sexton wrote. In this workshop, poets try their hands at new forms—from the gigan to the golden shovel—to trick themselves out of poetic ruts and see what form the urgency of what they have to say will take. We’ll read a range of contemporary poets who are creating and playing with new forms including: Terrance Hayes, Donna Masini, Ruth Ellen Kocher, David Baker, Evie Shockley, Moira Egan, and Afaa Michael Weaver. Over the course of six weeks, students will also attempt to create a new form for themselves.

The Linked Sequence with sam sax

The linked sequence is a popular staple inside many contemporary poetry collections—often borrowing as much from the essay form as from either the epic or lyric tradition. In this class, we’ll explore the history of this particular poem form as well as its current diverse incarnations and look to the tactics contemporary writers use [polyphony (polyvocality), fragment, erasure, documentary, etc.] to imagine what’s possible in our own work.

Mining the Poetic Unconscious with Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar is the founding editor of Divedapper. His poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, APR, Ploughshares, PBS NewsHour, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, will be published by Alice James Books in September 2017; he is also the author of the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic.

Master Class with Gregory Pardlo

Gregory Pardlo’s Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is also the author of Air Traffic, a memoir in essays forthcoming from Knopf.


Master Class with Brenda Shaughnessy

Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of So Much Synth (Copper Canyon Press, 2016); Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press 2012), which was a finalist for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Award; Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets; and Interior with Sudden Joy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999), which was nominated for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Lambda Literary Award, and the Norma Farber First Book Award.

Master Class with Phillis Levin

Please note the class runs at two different times on Saturday and Sunday. Disregard the class times listed above. The correct hours are:

Saturday, October 28, 2:00-6:00pm
Sunday, October 29, 12:00-4:00pm

A Letter That Begins With I Love You: A Celebration of Patricia Smith

The author of seven books of poetry including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, Blood Dazzler, and most recently Incendiary Art, a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and the most successful National Poetry Slam champion in the competition’s history, Patricia Smith has been lauded by critics as “a testament to the power of words to change lives.” Providing poetry lovers with a bridge between the stage and page, Smith is a poet, performer, and educator who continues to make an indelible mark in the landscape of American poetry and in the lives of poets everywhere.

(Feeling) At Home in America: 30th Anniversary Event with Camille Dungy

American Book Award winner Camille Dungy considers five important poems by Phillis Wheatley, Lucille Clifton, Maggie Smith, Craig Santos Perez, and Sterling A. Brown that reveal what it means to be at home in America. What are the ways poets utilize line, image, language, and sound to explore the concept of home?


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