How does one evoke what haunts us most in our own work? How might we place—or release—pressure on this obsession in our poetry, and what affects might explicitness and subtlety respectively achieve? Over the course of this workshop, we will write, read, and discuss a variety of poems and their strategies, focusing on the value of identifying the central obsessive muscle at play in each. We will center our considerations on pinpointing the obsession(s) in both the poems that participants write and the published work by outside poets we read.
In addition to tracing how poetic obsessions appear and are experienced—through craft features such as lineation, sound, and image—we will discuss pertinent essays and engage in generative exercises for new work. Weekly readings will be tailored to the discourse we have around participants’ own writing haunts. Finally, we will discuss publishing, reading opportunities, and ways of taking advantage of the offerings of the Houston literary community. This workshop is open to new and advanced poets.
Theodora Ziolkowski is the author of the novella On the Rocks, winner of a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award, and the short story chapbook Mother Tongues, winner of The Cupboard’s 2015 contest. Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, The Writer’s Chronicle, and Short Fiction (England), among other journals, anthologies, and exhibits. A Best New Poets and Pushcart Prize nominee, Theodora is the recipient of the Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize in Creative Writing. She teaches creative writing workshops at Inprint, Grackle and Grackle, and Writespace, and recently served as Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast and Fiction Editor for Big Fiction. She is pursuing her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston.