University of Iowa

Poetry and the Third Muse: Exploring Personal, Family & Public History in Our Poems

Weekend July 14 to July 15 2018

How do our personal and family histories intersect with the larger collective histories of which we are a part? How are our lives shaped by those of the people who came before us and the times in which they lived? How were their lives shaped by those times? What does that imply about our own lives and times? As poets, how can we explore these questions in our work? In this generative workshop we’ll explore these questions and some of the ways in which you might summon Clio, the muse of history, for your own work. We’ll spend our two days together reading and discussing poems by poets for whom she’s been an important muse, and freewriting together in class in response to proven prompts designed to inspire new work. We’ll share exercises and ideas for new poems in a supportive, no-pressure exchange as a way of discovering their “gifts”—those openings towards revision or new work. Our goal will be to send you home energized and filled with ideas for new poems and revisions. This workshop is open to poets of all levels of experience.