Poetry Workshop: Crafting Poems without Fear

In the dark timesWill there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing.About the dark times. —Bertolt BrechtIn these times of public calamity, reading or writing poetry provides the opportunity to both engage with the wider world and examine our existence—with all its ills and joys—from a renewed vantage point. Poems allow us to concentrate our most intense feelings and hold them up to the light in ways that news and even prose cannot. Whether our poems entertain our joys or despairs, there will be singing. In this course, we will study what goes into a successful poem and address the difficulties and rewards of writing poems about fraught or intense subjects—be they personal or global. We will discuss how poets like Lucille Clifton, Ada Limón, and Mary Oliver employ sound, form, and imagery to produce work that finds hope—and warmth—even in the coldest of places. We will use these poets and weekly prompts as a jumping-off point to enter our own work. Students will turn in a poem every other week, for a total of five poems, putting these works up for peer and instructor critique.

Jackson Holbert
Jones Lecturer and Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

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Online, instructor-led
Jan 16 - Mar 22, 2024
Stanford Continuing Studies