“The hidden subject of all poems is the silence that surrounds them, the things that can’t be, that will never be said; a real poem points to everything beyond it,” says poet and critic Craig Morgan Teicher. In this generative workshop, we will consider silence—that is, we will ask what we leave out of poems and how that silence complicates, implicates, and introduces additional truths. Specifically, we will ask: How do we build silence into a poem? What do we decide to leave out? How do we point to the unsayable? With an eye on craft elements such as metaphor and the line, and through discussion, we will discover multiple ways to weave the unspeakable into our work, and our poems will be better for it. Writers will leave this workshop with a new toolbox of methods to include silence in their poems (and a deeper understanding of why to do so), plus several new drafts.
Chelsea B. DesAutels’s work appears or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Missouri Review, Copper Nickel, Massachusetts Review, Adroit Journal, Pleiades, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. Chelsea earned an MFA from the University of Houston, where she received the Inprint Verlaine Prize in Poetry and served as Poetry Editor of Gulf Coast. She lives with her family in Minneapolis.