Grackle and Grackle’s Poetry Knockout series brings some of the country’s favorite, award-winning poets in to teach, via Zoom. A Knockout comprises of a short craft talk the first week, and a workshop geared to that craft talk the second week. Two poets are headlining our first round: each teaches two weeks in a row, so it lasts 4 weeks. Joy Priest is leading a workshop on ekphrasis, and Kevin Prufer is focusing on the poetic line. Take advantage of this unique opportunity; this class will have twelve students.
This is will be an advanced class, open to poets who have taken multiple writing classes already. Please email me if you have any questions about it. (If you haven’t taken workshops with Grackle, but have taken plenty of workshops elsewhere, that works! You don’t have to prove it to me, just sign up!)
Ekphrasis with Joy Priest – January 10 & 17
Ekphrasis is Greek for “description.” This is traditionally what poets have done in the ekphrastic form—describe a work of art. But a good ekphrastic poem is never mere description. In this class, we’ll look at some classic and recent ekphrastic poems to determine what else is accomplished through the form. We’ll discuss different approaches, as well as ekphrastic poems written by members of the class. Please choose a piece of art from another genre (painting, sculpture, photograph, film, music, etc.) that you’d like to engage with.
Joy Priest was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She is the author of Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), selected by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethwey as the winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. She is the recipient of a 2021 NEA fellowship, a 2019-2020 Fine Arts Work Center fellowship, and the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from the American Poetry Review. Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, The Atlantic, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others, and her essays have appeared in The Bitter Southerner, Poets & Writers, ESPN, and The Undefeated. Joy received her M.F.A. in Poetry, with a certificate in Women & Gender Studies from the University of South Carolina. She is currently editing an anthology of Louisville poets, forthcoming from Sarabande Books.
Speech, Thought, & Music: Thinking About the Poetic Line with Kevin Prufer – January 24 & 31
What does the construction of poetic lines have to do with the drama of speech? The performance of thought? The delights of music? The nuances of meaning? Many poets are intuitive about the construction of lines of poetry. This class will put words to that intuition through close reading of published work as well as discussion of poems written by members of the class.
Among Kevin Prufer‘s many books of poetry are How He Loved Them (long-listed for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Julie Suk Award); Churches (named by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2014), and the recently released The Art of Fiction, all from Four Way Books. His next poetry collection, The Fears, will be published by Copper Canyon Press. He teaches at the University of Houston’s graduate program in creative writing and at the Lesley University Low Residency MFA.
Grackle image by Patricia Pardee.