Everyday Ekphrasis

The Loft, June 2018

Summer may be for lounging and catching up on our books, music, and shows, but that doesn't mean we can't also find time to write! This four-week beginner-friendly class will focus on the inspiration that surrounds us.

Ekphrasis, loosely defined, means "art from art," and we will broaden that definition as we examine ways writers have written poetry and short prose based on paintings, photographs, songs, and even cinema. We will read and discuss contemporary works by a diverse group of sources, including Maybe the Saddest Thing by Marcus Wicker and Natasha Trethewey's Bellocq's Ophelia, using these pieces as diving boards for our own work.

Focused on generative prompts, this course will examine how writers have used art as inspiration, and how we can use similar techniques to tell our own stories in poetry and prose, from happy memories to difficult topics.

More information here.


The Contemporary Ode

The Poetry Barn, July 2018

Lewis Turco defines an ode as “any poem that celebrates an event or a person,” going on to describe the three “more or less strict forms” an ode can take. Perhaps contemporary poets owe it to Pablo Neruda who conceived of the ode as an homage to anything (and everything) around him, but recently, odes explore any and everything.

This four-week generative course is a crash course on the 21st and 20th century history of the ode. We will examine the expectations set by titling a poem “Ode” and investigate a diverse selection of contemporary odes (such as those by Fatimah Asghar, Ross Gay, Thomas Lux, John Murillo, Angel Nafis, Sharon Olds, Patricia Smith, and Kevin Young), exploring the craft elements that make a contemporary ode—especially those on unexpected or mundane subjects—successful before setting off to write our own.

Each week, we will focus on a new technique and reason for adopting this form. The writing exercises and prompts include celebrating objects, creating narratives, reclaiming history, and finding bold new ways to write about the self and body.

More information here


Future Workshops

September 10 -  September 30, Post-Apocalyptic PoetryThe Poetry Barn
November 5  - December 2,  Every Day Magic: Domestic Fabulism in VerseThe Poetry Barn

Past Workshops

Transformation Through Revision, The Loft, Fall 2017
Everyday Magic: Domestic Fabulism in Verse, The Poetry Barn, August 2017
Ekphrastic Poetry, The Poetry Barn, 2017