Writing About Our Times: Should/Could/Would Poetry Do it? with Anaïs Duplan

Jun 22nd 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Jun 23rd 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Jun 24th 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

St. Ambrose University, McCarthy Hall - 518 W. Locust St., Davenport, Iowa


In Davenport, as part of the David R. Collins 2017 Writers’ Conference.

Three-day workshop with Anaïs Duplan.

Registration for this three-day poetry workshop: $75

"The morning after Donald Trump’s election, Becca Klaver’s Empire Wasted arrived at my doorstep. The stylish-looking poetry collection from Bloof Books seemed like an uncanny arrival. 14 pages in, Klaver’s poem, “‘We Got Him'” haunts me. In particular for its epigraph, which reads: “NBC News interrupts The Celebrity Apprentice to inform viewers that President Obama will be delivering an important statement from the White House.” Klaver then seems to list off a series of Tweets, all wildly varying responses–by seemingly random people–to Osama Bin Laden’s murder. When I brought the collection in to my undergrads, we tried to decide whether this was poetry. For example, are Tweets poems? We decided they were. I’ve always liked poems that talk about our times and I like to write those poems, too. Of course, there’s always a danger of writing overly symbolic poems, or poems that want too much to be our anthems, or poems that want to tell us how to feel. I don’t like those poems. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to successfully write about what’s happening now around us, how to avoid some of the pitfalls in writing poems like these, and then, of course, we’ll read and write those poems."

Anaïs Duplan is the author of Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming on PBS News Hour, in Hyperallergic, FENCE, Redivider, Horse Less Review, The Journal, Boston Review, and elsewhere. In collaboration with Public Space One, she runs the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for new media artists of color. She lives and works in Iowa City, where she is MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers Workshop.

For more information and to register, visit



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