University of Iowa

From Either/Or to More: Giving Poems Texture and Layered Complexity

Weekend June 23 to June 24 2018

Black or White? Nature or Nurture? Paper or Plastic? Raw or Cooked? Mind or Body? Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman? So much in our daily lives—and in our writing practice—is presented to us in easy binaries. And yet these seemingly confining binaries are useful springboards into more complex thinking and feeling in our poems. In this generative workshop for intermediate to advanced poets, we’ll begin each session with a particular dichotomy as springboard (e.g., work vs. home; caretaking vs. independence; praise vs. lament; innocence vs. experience) and explore how our work—in content and structure—might blossom into complexity. We’ll also contemplate how different formal approaches and revision techniques can create varied richness in our work.