University of Iowa

Obsession: A Poetry Workshop

Weekend June 16 to June 17 2018

In this workshop, you will write the living daylights out of that thing that writes the living daylights out of you. What, like a fixed star, is at the center of your heart? What is your hobbyhorse, your idée fixe, your charge? What hangs you up and infatuates? Writing and reading assignments will guide you into your obsession so that you become more fluent in the parts of its landscape that mystify you. As a point of entry into this two-day workshop, begin to consider what keeps you. Is it something like god, or a birthmark, or an old love, or someone famous, or snow, or crying? We will consider how poems get built up out of obsession and why. We will read poems by Oni Buchanan, Lucie Brock-Broido, Layli Long Soldier, Joshua Bell, Kaveh Akbar, Ross Gay, and Rachel Zucker. Bring your shovels. We’re going to go deep.