Guided by poet Cate Marvin, embrace the poetic journey, feel supported, and discover new and imaginative ways to write poetry.
Jul 15, 2024 - Jul 19, 2024
Workshop Fee: $1495
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 12
Does poetry scare you a little? A lot? This class is for you. If you’ve always felt safer in prose, or intimidated by whatever it is poets do, it’s time to relinquish that fear and head out into the depths of poetic discourse. I promise to hold your hand until you’re ready to let go. And I make to you this very solemn promise: you are going to have a lot of fun in the process of discovery this course provides. You’ll write in ways you’d never before imagined. One more promise: you are certain to leave our week together a better writer.
Ezra Pound argued that “Poetry must be as well written as prose.” I would argue that prose must be as well written as poetry. A writer’s best prose shines as a result of the attention given to one’s craft, the delight of one’s individual vision, and, finally, acts of vulnerability that create well-springs of deep feeling.
This course introduces prose writers to five key concepts central to poetic technique, inviting students to seek mystery, to embody the raw and illicit, and to find liberation through associative leaps. We will also focus on approaches toward, on the most practical level, developing the kinds of precise and delightful metaphors that distinguish startlingly creative literary works.
This course will be all-levels and all-genres. Even though this class is specifically geared toward prose-writers, poets who yearn for an intense re-introduction to the essential poetic tenants are welcome to join us. We’ll read and write poetry and prose in tandem, eek out their respective gifts and restraints, all the while actively generating new work that will prepare us all to engage our future work with renewed passion and ambition. We will write together, support one another, laugh together, and talk a lot of shop.
Day 1: Negative Capability: Wading into Mystery (PLOT)
Day 2: The Objective Correlative: Mood and Meaning (CHARACTER)
Day 3: Duende: Death and its Derangements (VOICE)
Day 4: Pastiche & Associative Leaps: Chance and Kismet (IMAGINATION)
Day 5: Invagination and the Inevitable: Facing the Self (STRUCTURE)
Instructor: Cate Marvin
Cate Marvin's first book, World’s Tallest Disaster, was chosen by Robert Pinsky for the 2000 Kathryn A. Morton Prize and published by Sarabande Books in 2001. In 2002, she received the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. She co-edited with poet Michael Dumanis the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006). Her second book of poems, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, for which she received a Whiting Award, was published by Sarabande in 2007. Her third book of poems, Oracle, published by W.W. Norton & Co., was named by The New York Times as one of "The Best Poetry Books of 2015." Marvin teaches poetry writing in the Stonecoast M.F.A. Program at the University of Southern Maine and is Professor of English at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. A recent Guggenheim Fellow, she lives in Scarborough, Maine. Event Horizon, her fourth collection, appeared from Copper Canyon Press in 2022.