Investigate the art and craft of image-making, and learn how predisposing ourselves to image can help bring clarity and depth to our writing, poetry and lives.

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The Life - By Carrie Fountain

Sometimes we begin a poem with a sharp idea, thought, or feeling, only to find ourselves lost in language too murky to navigate. Because the poem hasn’t traveled as far as it can toward the surprising and specific image, it gets stranded in the land of abstraction. In this workshop, we’ll investigate the art and craft of image-making, and we’ll learn how predisposing ourselves to image can help bring clarity and depth to our writing (not to mention our lives). In moving toward imagery and sensory detail, we cut through the cloudiness of abstraction so our poems can find their way. This workshop is suited for writers of all experience levels and will consist of discussion, exercises, and assignments designed to inspire specificity and hone your authentic voice. In giving feedback, we’ll take each poem on its own terms, offering each other specific, useful insights. Our conversations will be generous and specific, and will center on where the writing can gain ground by way of specific and surprising imagery.

I'm not Missing - by Carrie Fountain

“Carrie Fountain writes wondrous poems of such transporting movement and time-depth, we could all be everywhere we’ve ever loved, teenagers again, or a hundred years from now, sky-shimmering, containing it all.” –Naomi Shihab Nye

“It is not simply a colloquial quality or seeming friendliness that draws me to Fountain; underneath this voice, there seems a highly charged current of desire and need.” —Kenyon Review

Header image by Mike Goad.

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Instructor: Carrie Fountain

Carrie Fountain is a poet and novelist, and serves as the 2019 Texas Poet Laureate. She is the author of three poetry collections, The Life, Instant Winner, and Burn Lake, winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series Award, and the YA novel I’m Not Missing. Her first children’s book, The Poem Forest (Candlewick Press, 2020) tells the story of American poet W.S. Merwin and the palm forest he grew from scratch on the island of Maui. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Poetry, and The New Yorker, among many others. She is the host of KUT’s This Is Just to Say, a radio show and podcast where she has intimate conversations on the writing life with other poets and writers. Fountain is writer-in-residence at St. Edward’s University, and lives in Austin, TX.