Poet and educator Richard Lewis leads an exploration of the poetry of shivering winds and frozen rivers, mounds of snow and seamless skies. Children imagine becoming icicles reflecting sunlight and learn how to keep warm inside the words of the wintery poems they write.
“Ghostwriter” Bobbi Katz shares hair-raising poems from her new book The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme, the spooky account of a man who devotes his life to the study of monsters. After reading from this “Who’s Who of Monsterhood” (Paul Janeczko), Katz guides children in writing their own monstrous verse.
Edward Hirsch is the author of eight collections of poetry, including Wild Gratitude, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems. A longtime professor in the creative writing program at the University of Houston, he is now the president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
This class examines the way spiritual practice and the life of the mind (often one in the same) play themselves out in poems as old as the Song of Songs and as contemporary as the work we are doing today. Participants will do a close reading of the Song of Songs and consider what makes that poem so timeless. Guest speakers may visit to talk about their own journeys and practices.
This workshop poses the question, “What are the structural elements that make for a good poem?” The writing of workshop participants will be looked at alongside works by writers like Robert Hayden, Lorine Niedecker, Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara. Poems will be excavated for patterns of sounds, meter, word etymologies, images and symbols, and students will write a few poems in the style of their favorite writers.
This course engages the poetic and formal scope and limits of the chapbook-length poem or poem series. Through readings and examples, each participant will write a single chapbook-length book. The workshop will also cover some production techniques so that students leave the class with a book as well as ideas for more.
This workshop is for serious poets who are looking for different ways to refresh their vision and expand their writing; who want to make poems that are ambitious, thoughtful and innovative; and who want to see how best to use poetry’s basics from stanza forms to rhyme to free verse in writing poems that will be bolder and larger in expression.
Participants of this class will discuss how to see into “the deep heart’s core” of a poem and how to refine that core sentiment and sensibility by heightening attention to images, tropes, diction, syntax, line breaks and other musical features of the language. Poems from literary magazines will be examined for specific technical issues, but students’ poems will be the inspiriting focus and force of workshop discussion. Writing exercises that steer the poem toward new strategies and discoveries will be considered.
Daniel Swift, the author of Bomber County: The Poetry of a Lost Pilot's War and a professor of English at Skidmore College, examines poems written in response to the bombing campaigns of World War II and contemplates the role of poetry as a means of moral witnessing and historical testimony. Texts include the poetry of Dylan Thomas, Louis MacNeice, Randall Jarrell and John Ciardi, as well as extracts from the diaries of Virginia Woolf.