The University of Iowa

Taking Shape: Generating Poems from Template and Tempest

Weeklong June 21 to June 26 2020

This generative class for beginning and experienced poets will start with classical lyric modes—the aubade, the pastoral, the ekphrastic, the ode, the elegy—and work its way towards more tempestuous creations built out of collage and assemblage and erasure. We’ll find inspiration from the University’s art and natural history collections and found objects that we gather and collect during the week. As we build poems in a variety of ways, we’ll discuss a variety of styles that range from coherent, linear narratives to more broken and elliptical expression. As we move from intention and execution to randomness and delight in accident, expect fun and engaging in-class writing exercises, optional take home assignments, readings for discussion, and supportive group discussions of the work you generate.


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