Workshop meets over four weeks:
Tution Assistance Available!
In this workshop, we will be exploring poetic craft through the lens of shapes. Because when it comes down to it, a poem is a collection of shapes: letter shapes and word shapes, stanza shapes and line shapes. Some poems take on formal shapes: sestinas and concrete poems, ghazals and sonnets, pantoums and poets’ theater. Poem shapes aren’t always just physical, either—many poems engage with rhetorical shapes, borrowing from the structures of music or jokes or plays.
This workshop will be heavily generative. During weekly in-class and at-home assignments, we’ll survey the shapes that our poems make and try our hands at some new ones. Prompts may include drawing maps, writing poems with no words, and rewriting things you’ve already written, but backwards or inside-out. In the process of these experiments, we will consider how the forms of our poems influence their content (and vice versa).
In addition to writing exercises, we will look at work by poets using unexpected and novel shapes—Renee Gladman, Hannah Weiner, Madeline Gins, and N. H. Pritchard, to name a few. We’ll also look at other forms, from sound art to comedy, and consider how their structures can help inform the shapes we make in our own poems.
Nora Claire Miller is a poet and multidisciplinary artist, and the author of the chapbook LULL (2020). Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in FENCE, Bennington Review, Washington Square Review, Bat City Review, Tagvverk, and other places. The editor-in-chief of Ghost Proposal, Nora earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a BA from Hampshire College. Learn more at noraclairemiller.com.
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