Fundamental to poetry is the idea that lines and stanzas generate surprise, complication, and sonic interest within and around a poem’s sentences.
But poems that employ section breaks add an additional element of division inside a poem, potentially creating exciting effects, including juxtaposition, fragmentation, temporal “jump cuts,” and narrative “braiding.”
This one-day workshop will explore a variety of strategies for using sections in poems. How are numbered sections different from other types of section breaks? What ARE other types of section breaks? What happens when a section break falls in the middle of a sentence? Are lyric poems sectioned differently than narrative poems?
We will read and discuss a number of poems that use section breaks in a variety of ways, and participants will be asked to bring in a 2-4 previously written fragments or discarded poems to use as a foundation for a generative assignment.
WAYNE MILLER is the author of five poetry collections, most recently We the Jury (Milkweed, 2021) and Post- (2016), which won the Rilke Prize and the Colorado Book Award. He has received the George Bogin Award, the Lucille Medwick Award, the Lyric Poetry Award, the Bess Hokin Prize, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a Distinguished Fulbright to the Seamus Heaney Centre in Northern Ireland. His co-translation of Moikom Zeqo’s Zodiac (Zephyr, 2015) was shortlisted for the PEN Center USA Award in Translation. He is a professor at the University of Colorado Denver, co-directs with Kevin Prufer the Unsung Masters Series, and edits Copper Nickel.