Fall 2017 Online Poetry Workshop Offerings
Celebrating ten years of distance poetry learning
In the beginning, there was Whitman. Walt Whitman wrote “I Sing the Body Electric” in 1855, and although it may not have been the first American poem to address the body, the body is a place both intimate and universal. Our bodies affect how we move through the world and how others perceive and react to us. They can be a source of pleasure and pain. Sometimes we feel disempowered because other people write over our body, our narrative, by making it theirs. Writing about the body is still considered, in some circles, a taboo and sensationalistic act.
As a subject, writing about parenting and/or our children brings up questions of vulnerability, exposure, confession, and permission, while formally, the poetics of motherhood encompasses craft elements like voice and narrative as well as forms such as odes, elegies, or epistolary poems. This workshop will explore the various ways that the experience of mothering (in any of its forms) intersects with the poem on the page and the artistic act of creating.
In this workshop, we'll look closely at and imitate the work of twentieth-century women poets in order to reclaim imitation as a feminist strategy, seeking to learn as a group whatever we can from the women whose legacy we're still unearthing.