“There are no new ideas,” wrote Adrienne Rich. “There are only new ways of making them felt.”
As poets, we’re world-builders, shaping the space on the page to yield meaning. Our poems transform feelings into words (for the writer), then words back into feelings (for the reader). Yet a poem’s formula is often more complicated than “word” in; “feeling” out. After all, feelings are amorphous, abstract concepts. We can’t simply create the feeling of falling in love by writing “love” over and over again (though Gertrude Stein may have tried). Instead, as poets, we build entire tiny worlds in our poems, worlds that invite our readers in to explore, to catch their reflections, to engage with others, and, perhaps if we’re lucky, to feel what it feels like to fall in love.
Through inspecting outside texts, writing new work through prompts and revising via in-depth workshops, this poetry writing class will help you build the micro-cosmos your poem deserves. Through looking at poems’ structure, concerns and traditions, we’ll develop the tools to draft our own poetry’s maps, charting fresh worlds unlocked by our words.
It is rewarding to build a world in poems, but it is even more rewarding to invite others into it. With that in mind, this writing workshop will also include a final class session devoted to publication pathways, cover letter best practices, poetry contests and submission suggestions.
CAIT WEISS ORCUTT’s work has appeared in Boston Review, Chautauqua, FIELD, Hobart, Juked, and more. Her poems were nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets 2016, and her manuscript VALLEYSPEAK (Zone 3, 2017) won Zone 3 Press’ First Book Award, judged by Douglas Kearney. Cait has an MFA from The Ohio State and is currently getting her Ph.D. in Poetry from the University of Houston. She teaches creative writing to college undergraduates, local youth at the Salvation Army Young Adult Resource Center in Midtown, HISD students via WITS at the Menil Collection, and senior citizens via Inprint at the Jewish Community Center. She is the recipient of an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor/MD Anderson Foundation Fellowship.