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 […]

Text & Context: A Poetry Workshop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Last night I taught Text & Context, a poetry workshop sponsored by the Philadelphia Poetry Collaboration, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art‘s Final Fridays: Rebel, Rebel night. I prepared a handout with four poetry exercises inspired by pieces in the modern art wing of the museum for registered and drop-in participants. We had a total […]

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. […]

Craft of Prose Writing Exercise: “The Immaculate Conception of Nohbdy”

In this exercise inspired by Percival Everett’s novel I Am Not Sidney Poitier, and nuanced by Odysseus’s encounter with Polyphemus, my Craft of Prose students created a character with a name that causes confusion, a name that is either a negation or a pun, and then crafted a creation myth about their conception and birth […]

Two Poetry Exercises: “The Side of the Road” and “A Pig Is A Pig Is An Idea”

I gave the following two exercises to my Writing Poetry students in the last month. Because these exercises encourage students to build their poems upon concrete description, I’ve presented them together. Class: Writing Poetry (Virginia Commonwealth University) Genre: Poetry Purpose: To explore strategies employed by authors we’ve read as well as situate poems in concrete […]