Writing Exercises: “Poem of My Humiliations” and “Admit It”

ENG 326 Writing Poetry: Intermediate University of North Carolina at Greensboro Fall 2017 Note: My intermediate poetry class is wrapping up their discussion of Erika L. Sánchez’s Lessons on Expulsion. All three of these poems appear in the final section of the book, and they model two approaches of the  “function” of a poem. In the […]

Writing Exercise: “Ain’t There One Damn Song That Can Make Me Break Down and Cry?”

ENG 326 Writing Poetry: Intermediate University of North Carolina at Greensboro Fall 2017 8/17 Writing Exercise: “Ain’t There One Damn Song That Can Make Me Break Down and Cry?” Re-examine the lyrics of the favorite song you brought into class, and respond to the following questions in your writing journal: What genre is the song? […]

Writing Exercise: “In Defense of ‘Moist'”

ENG 326 Writing Poetry: Intermediate University of North Carolina at Greensboro Fall 2017 8/15 Writing Exercise: “In Defense of ‘Moist’” Read the poem “In Defense of ‘Moist’” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib and discuss. Recall your favorite or least favorite word from the Introductions handout. If you selected your favorite word, title your poem “Against ‘[the word]’”; […]

Summer, Online Intro to CW Writing Exercise: “Guess Who”

Writing Exercise: “Guess Who” Writer Jean Kwok uses a Character Sketch Table in order to better develop and, subsequently, understand her characters. Whether or not she ends up using all the information in her final creative work, it helps her consider the ways that her characters move (and have moved) in the world. Prior to […]

Summer, Online Intro to CW Writing Exercise: “Code Switch”

Writing Exercise: “Code Switch” Read a little bit about the linguistic concept of “code-switching.” Now, let’s apply it to your creative writing. Create a dramatic situation in which a first-person narrator has to switch between two different types of language in her narration and in her dialogue, e.g. her dialogue with her best friend is […]

Summer Online Intro to CW Writing Exercise: “Nothing Amiss, Nothing Missed”

Writing Exercise: “Nothing Amiss, Nothing Missed” Your first writing exercise asks you to draw upon the concepts of concrete language, significant details, and mood-inducing setting from Chapters 2: Image and 5: Setting. The exercise is multi-part, so make sure not to miss a step. Take a pen and paper (or laptop, if you’re more comfortable […]

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: […]

“I look in the mirror and hold up my mangled hand”: An Adversarial Persona Exercise

Genre: Poetry Purpose: To consider how persona, point of view, voice, argument, and empathy can support and/or complicate one another Readings: “Skinhead” by Patricia Smith Watch Patricia Smith perform “Skinhead”: https://youtu.be/Klb5TniRGao. Discuss. Jot down some notes about a situation in which you found yourself in direct opposition with someone else. Perhaps it’s as extreme as […]