Grackle painting by Kerry James Marshall.
Michelle Brittan Rosado wrote that poetry of place “can be a way to dissolve the self into an anonymous landscape” as well as “a map to find ourselves, a space in which to reassemble the annihilated and recover the displaced.” How often has your childhood home been the setting for your dreams?
How often have you returned, in your writing or art or imagination, to the site of a notable first experience? What are the landscapes, real or metaphorical, we have inhabited? What liminal spaces inspire, motivate, or even unsettle us? The places which have mattered most to us live in our subconscious mind long after they stop being physically part of our lives. In this four-week class, we will look at poetry grounded in places both real and imagined. We will dissect both what makes a poem resonate with a reader and what makes particular locations so important to us.
In this generative workshop, we’ll use a variety of prompts to experiment with form and style. You can expect to write new poetry each week and have at least two of your poems workshopped in a collaborative and respectful setting.
Angélique Jamail‘s poetry, short fiction, and essays have appeared in over two dozen anthologies and journals, including New Reader Magazine, Waxwing, Time-Slice, Improbable Worlds, Pluck Magazine, The Milk of Female Kindness––An Anthology of Honest Motherhood, Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston, Femmeliterate, Bayou City Magazine, and The Enchantment of the Ordinary, and her poetry has been featured on the radio. Her short story “Mother” (2019, Spider Road Press) was nominated for Best Small Fictions. Her magic realism novelette Finis. (Odeon Press), first published in 2014, has been praised by fiction writer Ari Marmell as having “some of the most real people I’ve encountered via text in a long time,” and by poet Marie Marshall as “a witty tale of conformity, prejudice, and transformation, in a world that is disturbing as much for its familiarity as for its strangeness.” Her poetry collection The Sharp Edges of Water came out in 2018, and Homecoming, a standalone follow-up to Finis., in 2020, both from Odeon Press. She teaches Creative Writing and English in Houston and began serving on the Board of Directors for Mutabilis Press in December 2019. She’s also the creator of the popular zine Sonic Chihuahua. Find her online at her blog Sappho’s Torque and on social media.