Many of her most embarrassing poems would have been fascinating if someone put them in quotes, as the presentation of some character, not the author.
Robert Lowell, about Anne Sexton’s work
“Confessional” was once a dirty word in poetry, and yet today the poetry world is full of the “embarrassing” facts of the author’s life laid bare on the page. In this generative workshop, we will use the lens of the great confessors (Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Robert Lowell, Sharon Olds, etc.) as well as new confessional poets (Tiana Clark, Rachel McKibbens, Danez Smith, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, etc) to craft our own poems using psychology, emotion, and experience. We will focus on the basics of poetry: imagery, metaphor, allegory, form, syntax, and the line, and generate new work through prompts and workshops. Each class will build on our foundation, work on the poetic personal “I”, and reframe the confessional as an artistic harnessing of our own shame.
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Paige Quiñones is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Houston, where she is the Managing Editor of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. Previously a fellow with the Center for Mexican American Studies at UH, she received her MFA in poetry from the Ohio State University. Her work has twice been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Northwest, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2019 Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize, selected by Gabrielle Calvocoressi. Her book The Best Prey was selected by Tiana Clark for Pleides Press as the winner of the 2020 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry, and will be published in 2021.