The Art of the Turn

Every good poem has an unexpected turn (or “volta,” the Italian term for turn), where something changes or intensifies somehow, forcing the reader to recalculate the poet’s original intention in structuring the text. For example, in her poem “Black Magic,” Sonia Sanchez turns the magic of Black people surviving in America into a metaphor for love: “black / magic is your / touch / making / me breathe.” In this five-week online workshop, we’ll look at poets who have mastered the art of the turn and study how the magic happens. We’ll engage in writing exercises that help us to practice the art of shifting a thought, emotion or formal element in our poetry. We’ll read works by poets such as Wanda Coleman, Jericho Brown, Joshua Bennett and Morgan Parker. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Tuesday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.

Workshop Details


  • Teacher: Starr Davis
  • Level: I
  • Dates: Jul 19–Aug 23, 2022
  • Time: Tuesdays, 6:00–8:30 pm (ET)
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $395
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, JUL 10, 2022
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, JUNE 19
Starr Davis

Starr Davis

Starr Davis is a poet and essayist whose work has been featured in multiple literary venues such as the Kenyon Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, the Rumpus, So to Speak and Transition. She is a 2021–2022 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow and the creative nonfiction editor for TriQuarterly. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the City College of New York and a BA in journalism and creative writing from the University of Akron. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry and creative nonfiction, Best of the Net and Best American Essays. She works as a poetry mentor and workshop facilitator in Ohio, where she currently lives.