Poetry Writing Exercise: “Don’t Be Afraid: Self-Elegy or Self-Celebration” for Master Class I Have Been a Pleasure: On the Self-Elegy and Celebration

Today, before a reading, I will teach a poetry master class at Warren County Community College called I Have Been a Pleasure: On the Self-Elegy and Celebration. With a handout, we will begin by considering and reconsidering the definitions of elegy, praise poems, and ode from Edward Hirsch’s A Poet’s Glossary, making connections between each […]

Erasure and Revision Exercise: “Dear ________”

Students in my online, 24PearlStreet “Every Phantom // A Story: Erasure and Revision” course explored erasure as a political and social justice act and then completed “Dear       ,” an erasive poetry exercise, last week after reading the following assignments: “The Near Transitive Properties of the Political and Poetical: Erasure” by Solmaz Sharif. […]

Erasure and Revision Writing Exercise: “Love Poem Lost”

Last week I had my 24PearlStreet Erasure and Revision students burn, soak, and rip up handwritten copies of a new love poem. I called these “environmental erasures,” inspired— or, rather, after—Sappho’s surviving verses on papyrus fragments. Here are the directions: “Love Poem Lost” 1. Draft a poem addressed to a (real or imagined) lost love. […]

Teen Arts Workshop Writing Exercises: “Beyond Rhyme: Poetry’s Music” and “Speech Bubbles: Poetry 10 Ways”

The Warren County Cultural & Heritage Commission asked me to teach as a part of their Teen Arts day. Although post-blizzard school delays prevented us from taking full advantage of my two planned workshops, the exercises and lesson plans I prepared for the day are collected here for other educators’ use. 9:30–11:00 AM: Beyond Rhyme: […]

Craft of Poetry Writing Exercise: “Exercising It Out”

Students’ Materials Writing journal, with plenty of paper and/or your laptop A previous draft of one of your poems Room Setup Six “stations” will be set up at even intervals around the room, each with its own set of instructions. They will be identified by the following names: Anaphora Heavy Enjambment Sentence Fragment Lack of […]

Craft of Poetry Writing Exercise: “Look It Up”

In this writing exercise inspired by Solmaz Sharif’s Look, students will explore using found language in order to create compelling dramatic situations. Writing Exercise: “Look It Up” Select 4–5 words from Solmaz Sharif’s poems in Look. (These could be the DOD terms in small caps or her language.) Look up each of these words in […]

“Every Phantom // A Story: Erasure & Revision” 24PearlStreet Course Syllabus & Calendar

My eight-week, online course for the Fine Arts Work Center’s 24PearlStreet, “Every Phantom // A Story: Erasure & Revision” starts tomorrow, Monday, March 8th. Course Description What isn’t said in a poem is just as meaningful—just as much a craft choice—as what is said. As poets, we so often go to the page with the […]