University of Iowa

The New You: Revising, Editing, and Recharging Your Poems

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

The act of writing a poem is a curious expedition. We start with a blank page—a shimmering neutral canvas laid out before us like an undiscovered country—and we slowly begin to track the rivers and valleys of our unique artistic exploration. Though we hope to end up with a map we are satisfied with, as creative cartographers we must remember an element crucial to perceived and self-appointed boundaries: there are often other ways to see them. This idea of reshaping and redrafting the borders we place around our work will guide our week together. By examining poetry that pushes against tradition (thematically, structurally, and syntactically), we will learn new ways of traversing what is possible on the page and become more successful pioneers of our own poetic landscapes. Readings will include work by Rae Armantrout, C.A. Conrad, James Galvin, Tyehimba Jess, Sabrina Orah Mark, D.A. Powell, Claudia Rankine, Solmaz Sharif, C.D. Wright, and others. Though this class is open to poets of all skill levels, I ask that you arrive in Iowa City with at least one previously written poem which will be workshopped and radically revised by the end of the week.