Burning Down the House: Rethinking Poetic Forms

How can poets experiment with traditional forms of poetry so that they speak of the world today? Are there ways that one can “bend” the rules of poetic forms while still being guided by them in order to fuel artistic growth? This six-week online workshop will explore innovative contemporary approaches to forms such as the ghazal, the sonnet, the elegy, the prose poem and more by poets such as Patricia Smith, Larry Levis, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Yusef Komunyakaa and Jamila Woods. Students will write and workshop new poems in a different form each week, drawing upon these writers’ approaches to (re)writing form for inspiration. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Tuesday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.

Workshop Details


  • Teacher: Rosebud Ben-Oni
  • Level: I
  • Dates: Feb 21–Mar 28, 2023
  • Time: Tuesdays, 6:30–9:30 pm (ET)
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $445
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: FRI, FEB 17, 2023
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, FEB 12
Rosebud Ben-Oni

Rosebud Ben-Oni

Rosebud Ben-Oni is the author of several collections of poetry, including If This Is the Age We End Discovery (March 2021), which won the Alice James Award and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She has received fellowships and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, City Artists Corps, Café Royal Cultural Foundation, CantoMundo and Queens Council on the Arts. Her work appears in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Poetry Society of America, the Poetry Review (UK), Poetry Wales, Tin House, Guernica and Electric Literature, among other places. Her poem “Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark” was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC, and her poem “Dancing with Kiko on the Moon” was featured on Tracy K. Smith’s The Slowdown. In May 2022, Paramount commissioned her video essay “My Judaism is a Wild Unplace” for a campaign for Jewish Heritage Month, which appeared on Paramount Network, MTV Networks, The Smithsonian Channel and VH1, among many other places. In January 2023, she’ll perform at Carnegie Hall on International Holocaust Memorial Day as part of “We Are Here: Songs From The Holocaust.”