The University of Iowa

Space, Sound, and Silence: Poetic Freedom and Form

Weekend July 25 to July 26 2020

Are you interested in spending two days having a great time with form and the foundations of poetry? In this generative workshop, we will focus on five poetic forms: the epistolary poem, the erasure poem, the sonnet, the villanelle, and free verse. Any writer who would like to spend some low-key, energetic time with poetry is welcome to join us, from those who are new to it or perhaps generally write in other genres to seasoned poets. The forms we will experience together allow for a close examination of language, and they are also incredibly fun to write and discuss!


Again, our course is appropriate for writers who are interested in poetry from beginning to advanced. In our weekend together, we will read, we will discuss the readings, you will write from reading-inspired prompts that I will provide, and we will discuss what we’ve written. While you will be encouraged to delve into the specifications of the forms under discussion, our intent is to learn tools to open the possibilities for your poetry, not to contain them. I will always work with the group both on learning the traditional expectations for each form and on experimenting with our own unique adaptations and innovations. Finally, you will have the option but not requirement to share one to three poems of any form you’ve written outside of the workshop and to share one to three poems written by others that are meaningful to you.


In this workshop, we will generate new writing through exercises and assignments; provide feedback on writing you produce in our weekend.

Hybrid Forms