Recently I overheard my husband talking on the phone, “Miah thinks she’s so cool because she’s put together the best poetry workshop in America.” Normally I’d side-eye him with a whatever, except he’s right on both counts. Our scheduled poetry teacher had to cancel due to the pandemic, and I realized that because of this digital moment, I could reach out to a handful of dream poets from across the country and beg them to each teach 2-3 classes for us. And Erin Belieu, Blas Falconer, Niki Herd, and Helena Mesa said yes!
In this generative master class, you will learn from some of the most renowned poets and talented teachers in America. Each will tackle the part poetry they love teaching most. The workshops will include short lectures, discussions of outside work, and both in-class and out of class workshop prompts. Each poet will workshop at least one poem from the students.
Erin Belieu was born in Nebraska and educated at The Ohio State University and Boston University. She is the author of Infanta, chosen by Hayden Carruth for the National Poetry Series; One Above & One Below, winner of the Midland Authors Prize and Ohioana Poetry Award; Black Box, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist; Slant Six, named one of the ten best books of 2014 by The New York Times; and Come Hither Honeycomb (2020), all published by Copper Canyon Press. Her poems have appeared in places such as The Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, The Atlantic, AGNI, Tin House, and The American Poetry Review. Belieu also co-founded VIDA: Women in Literary Arts with poet Cate Marvin. She currently teaches in the University of Houston’s MFA/PhD Creative Writing Program, as well as for the Lesley University low-residency MFA in Cambridge, MA.
Blas Falconer is the author of three poetry collections, including Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books 2018), The Foundling Wheel (Four Way Books 2012), and A Question of Gravity and Light (University of Arizona Press 2007)—and a coeditor of two essay collections, The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity (University of Arizona Press 2011) and Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets (SIU Press 2010). Most recently, his poems have been featured by Academy of American Poets and The New York Times. His awards include an NEA Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange, and a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant. He is a poetry editor for The Los Angeles Review and Mentor and Muse (online), and teaches in the MFA at San Diego State University.
Niki Herd is the author of The Language of Shedding Skin and co-editor of Laura Hershey: On the Life & Work of an American Master. Her work has been supported by Cave Canem and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and has appeared in Obsidian, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, and the Academy of American Poets (Poem-a-Day). She is an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow at the University of Houston.
Helena Mesa is the author of Horse Dance Underwater (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2009) and co-editor for Mentor & Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010), an anthology of essays that examines poetic techniques. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various literary journals such as Barrow Street, Bat City Review, Cimarron Review, Indiana Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, and Third Coast. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, and Writers in the Heartland; she was also a UMS artist in residence (2015-2016). She teaches at Albion College.