Workshop Cover Sheet

Note: In order to help MFA students moderate their own workshops (à la Felicia Rose Chavez’s The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop), I developed a cover sheet for them to attach to each of their poems. Today is the first day that we are using the cover sheet and, thus, we will also workshop the efficacy of it. The idea of the cover sheet came from a conversation in the pre-semester Teaching Creative Writing Workshop with our lecturers and TAs. Many thanks to my colleague Joe Dunne for initially suggesting the idea.

CONTENT WARNINGS: 

Author Name:

Poem Title:

Date of Submission:

Do you want written feedback from the workshop (y/n)?

Provide us with any information we need to better understand the poem. Is the dramatic situation unclear or underdeveloped? Is there a cultural reference some folks in the workshop might not understand?

Provide some background information about the writing process of this poem. When did you write it? How long did it take you to write? Where did you write it? What draft is it on?

Tell us about the things you think are working well in the poem. What do you like about your poem? What do you want to preserve?

These are things you want to receive feedback on:

  • [example]
  • [example]

These are things you don’t want to receive feedback on:

  • [example]
  • [example]

Proposal for a New Form: the “Boulder”

Proposal for a new form, because I’m writing in it . . .

A “Boulder” is wedged somewhere between a prose poem and a micro-essay, as if between a rock and a hard place, but gestures toward fiction through its willingness to engage in absurd scenarios instigated by the true occasions or circumstances introduced in the title. At under 500 words, it is a rhetorical form that posits itself as another form (i.e. a disclaimer, parable, alternate history, etc.) and it must respond in some way to STUPID SHIT (i.e. sexist, discriminatory, or otherwise dumb-dumb things) said to the speaker. Figuratively, the “Boulder” can be seen as a roadblock, avalanche, or agent of Wile. E. Coyote-style injury.

I have written three so far and I’ve started several more. An example of one of the titles: “An Alternate History In Response to the Man Who Told Me Canned Biscuits Ruined America.”