Dream Work/Poem Work

In Practicalities, describing the practice of writing, Marguerite Duras writes, “It’s a matter of deciphering something already there, something you’ve already done in the sleep of your life.” This might also be called dream—and the work necessary to bring the writing about, akin to what Freud called “dream work.” In this five-week online workshop, we’ll discuss these concepts while keeping our eye on the poem in its pre-poem state, examining work by authors such as Duras, Lucie Brock-Broido, Marni Ludwig, Frank Stanford, Allison Benis White and others. Taking the concept of the dream and dream work as our starting points, we’ll spend the opening of each class reading examples of works that engage in this concept. Then we’ll spend the rest of class engaging in generative writing exercises and sharing our writing. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Sunday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.

Workshop Details


  • Teacher: Cynthia Cruz
  • Level: II
  • Dates: Apr 16–May 14, 2023
  • Time: Sundays, 10:30 am–1:30 pm (ET)
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $395
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, APR 9, 2023
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, FEB 12
Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz is the author of seven collections of poems. Hotel Oblivion, her seventh collection, was published in the spring of 2022 by Four Way Books; Disquieting: Essays on Silence, a collection of critical essays exploring the concept of silence as a form of resistance, was published by Book*hug in 2019; and The Melancholia of Class: A Manifesto for the Working Class, an examination of Freudian melancholia and the working class, was published by Repeater Books in 2021. Forthcoming in 2023 are a novella, Steady Diet of Nothing; a collection of poems, Back to the Woods; and a book on the working class and negative freedom. Cruz is pursuing a PhD in philosophy at the European Graduate School.