Building the Ship as We Sail It: Intermediate Poetry Writing (Fully Online)


10 Monday mornings
April 6 to June 15
with Justin Jannise
from 10 to 1
(with option to pay in two or three installments)

Out of stock

In “We’re Building the Ship as We Sail It,” poet Kay Ryan writes: “It’s awkward to have do one’s planning in extremis in the early years — so hard to hide later: sleekening the hull, making things more gracious.” This class considers poetry as something we are always in the middle of. We are called upon to improvise—to innovate—and yet some necessary structure, perhaps also a bit of rigging or a rudimentary motor, must first be assembled.

How, in so few words, does an “awkward” first draft become a “more gracious” poem? To address this question, we’ll talk trope and verse, sentence and syntax, meditation and lyricism. Attention will be paid to the art of reading poetry aloud for a public audience. We will also discuss revision strategies and opportunities for publication. While advanced poets are welcome, no prior experience writing poetry is required.

Justin Jannise earned an M.F.A. in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in Best New Poets (selected by Cate Marvin), Copper Nickel, Yale Review, New Ohio Review, North American Review and The Awl. He is the recipient of the Inprint Verlaine Prize in Poetry, selected by Tomás Q. Morín. He lives in Houston, where he is the Editor-in-Chief of Gulf Coast.
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