Grackle artwork by artist Frank Gonzalez
In this two-weekend workshop series, we’ll be using poems by Gregory Orr, Aracelis Girmay, Evie Shockley and Harryette Mullen as guides as we learn to embrace mistakes. We’ll explore how we can turn our oversights into moments of possibilities. Rather than trying to fix them right away, we’ll ask: what if we let our mistakes lead us somewhere new, to a place we otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to by ourselves? Additionally, poems by Jericho Brown, Tarfia Faizullah, Derrick Austin, Phillip B. Williams among others will prove useful in our examination of how poetic form (both its embrace and disavowal) can inform our decisions during the revision process. If poetry is what happens on the way between what can’t be said and what is left unsaid, I wonder what we can create from what is said incorrectly on purpose. I’m interested, too, in how what and who we mishear informs us of who we are. In any case, come ready to play. Or plié. For our second meeting, please bring with you one or two poems you’d like to revise.
AYOKUNLE FALOMO is Nigerian, American, and the author of AFRICAN AMERICAN (FlowerSong Press, 2022), two self-published collections and African, American (New Delta Review, 2019; selected by Selah Saterstrom as the winner of New Delta Review’s 8th annual chapbook contest). A recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, MacDowell, and the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where he obtained his MFA in Creative Writing—Poetry, his work has been anthologized and widely published in print and online: The New York Times, Houston Public Media, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Texas Review, New England Review, Write About Now among others. You can find more information about him at afalomo.com.