Poets of Exile: On Separating the Art From the Artist

When we look at the full trajectory of an artist’s work in the world and its impact, the way they lived as a person, for better or worse, influences our relationship to their art. We want to find ourselves in the artists we love because we want to believe the best parts of them can be reflected back in us. Yet the same can be said for their hideous sides—and our own. How, then, do we negotiate our good feelings about their work against the harm they’ve caused in their personal lives? How do we make peace with the flawed humanity of the artists? In this two-session, in-person workshop, we’ll discuss the works of writers who have come up against public scrutiny, including Derek Walcott, Louise Glück, Zora Neale Hurston and others, to examine how the poets who shaped us are fallible like us—capable of great beauty and harm. We’ll use a variety of poetic devices and forms such as persona, the contrapuntal and the palindrome to generate work exploring the complexities of art that reflects our humanity back to us. Class sessions will meet at 144 Montague St.

We strongly encourage all in-person workshop participants to wear masks. Workshop participants may be required to wear masks as an accessibility accommodation for other participants or the instructor.

Workshop Details

  • Teacher: I.S. Jones
  • Level: II
  • Dates: Oct 18–Oct 25, 2023
  • Time: Wednesdays, 6:30–9:30 pm (ET)
  • Location: 144 Montague St, Brooklyn
  • Cost: $185
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, OCT 15, 2023
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, SEP 10
I.S. Jones

I.S. Jones

I.S. Jones is an American / Nigerian poet and essayist. She has received support in the form of fellowships, retreats and residencies from Hedgebrook, Brooklyn Poets, Sewanee’s Writers Conference, Callaloo, Bread Loaf, and the Watering Hole. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, LA Review of Books, the Rumpus, Prairie Schooner and elsewhere. For the last three years, she served as the director of the Watershed Reading Series with Art + Literature Laboratory. Her chapbook Spells of My Name (2021) was selected by Newfound for their Emerging Poets Series. Jones is a 2023 Bread Loaf–Rona Jaffe Scholar. She is currently an instructor with Brooklyn Poets, a reader for Poetry and at work on her debut full-length collection of poems.