In this four-week workshop, we will discover the threshold between narrative and lyric, fiction and poetry, flash and prose poems, inhabiting the borderlands between these realms of story to craft poetry that startles, reveals, and punches the gut.
Poets and writers have the privilege of crossing into other genres and witnessing the world through a myriad of lenses. In this workshop, we'll consider how the poet can use the language and experiences of scientific study and field observation to craft poems that cross-pollinate experience.
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.
Though it emerged almost 800 years ago, this quiet poetic form has seized the hearts, pens, and imaginations of poets and readers ever since. What's so wonderful about it? In this workshop, we will read, write, and talk about sonnets in order to explore the form’s popularity and potential.