The University of Iowa

Tone and Tension: A Workshop on Hybridity for Poets & Prose Writers

Weekend July 18 to July 19 2020

This workshop will focus on the use of hybrid forms as a particularly flexible and expressive means of building tone, meaning, and tension in writing. We will try out prompts and share work and ideas in order to stretch the boundaries of what writing can be. What happens when the author breaks up a story with a poem or a lyric meditation? How does a piece of writing benefit by stepping away from a traditional narrative climax to leave the reader in a place of suspense or irresolution? Would the use of documentary or research materials sharpen the effect of the work? This workshop is for anyone who has a sneaking suspicion that one genre is not enough! Let’s mix it up with poetry, nonfiction, story, and whatever else you want to bring to the adventure. Our goal is to become more adept at combining elements from across genres so that the writer achieves greater confidence and fluidity. Each writer should leave the workshop with a new repertoire of skills and possibilities.


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

Hybrid Forms