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In this workshop we will take poems that may seem failed or flawed or unrealized and rework the material at hand to restructure the poem into its best current self. We will read the poems as they are on the page, we will respect this space, we will discuss what the poem is doing/conveying; then we will explore ways of reimagining the poem—with reverence to the poems intention and with an open mind as what the poem itself may require from the poet—to explore options in reencountering the poem.
The focus will be on integrity to the material at hand with an eye and ear towards other possibilities including but not limited to spatial configuration, sound, image, syntax, punctuation, rhythm/meter/inflection, tonal shifts, creating tension and subtext, and connotation/denotation. We will comb through the poems line by line and word by word in order to understand what it is we’ve created and to abridge what it is we want to create. The belief is there is no failed poem, only poems that have not yet exulted their potential or possible potential. We will also bring in supplemental failed/flawed/unrealized poem to mine them for connection, deepening and or opening of the poem at hand by cutting up these poems and extracting moments/language/imagery from them. We will also utilize dictionaries and other texts as appropriate in our means of challenging our challenged poems. At the end of the workshop participants can expect to have revised their poem in meaningful ways and to have accumulated new approaches to invigorating staled work.
Meet Your Instructor
LGBTQ+ writer, NEA and MacDowell Fellow, and former Key West Poet Laureate, Flower Conroy’s the author of “Snake Breaking Medusa Disorder” (winner of the Stevens Manuscript Competition) and “A Sentimental Hairpin” (a Small Press Distribution Bestseller). Her third collection, “Greenest Grass (or You Can’t Keep Killing Yourself & Not Expect to Die)” has won the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize and will be published later in 2022. Her poetry will/has appeared in American Poetry Review, American Literary Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner and others.