One of poetry’s greatest gifts is transport: feeling moved, sometimes without knowing why. But this feeling, while delicious, doesn’t necessarily improve our reading and writing abilities. In the first session of this two-session, in-person workshop, we’ll deconstruct how specific elements of grammar—sentence forms, phrases and clauses—can affect a poem’s pacing and thus the rate at which emotional and intellectual information is revealed to the reader. Then in the second session, we’ll play with our own poems, analyzing our “pet” grammars—even considering the politics of them—and revising them based on inspiration from mentor poems. Ultimately, participants will learn how a nuts-and-bolts awareness of grammar contributes to the feeling of transport. Class sessions will meet at 144 Montague St, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink. No recollection of middle-school grammar necessary!
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.
Joanna Solfrian’s first book, Visible Heavens, was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye for the 2009 Wick Prize, a national first-book award. Her second collection, The Mud Room, was published by MadHat Press, followed by the chapbook The Second Perfect Number, published by Finishing Line Press. Beltway Press will publish her next full-length collection, Temporary Beast, in late 2023. Her poems have appeared in journals such as the Harvard Review, Boulevard, Margie, the Southern Review, Salamander, Pleiades, Image, and also in the internationally-touring art exhibit Speak Peace: American Voices Respond to Vietnamese Children’s Paintings. She is a MacDowell Fellow and a five-time Pushcart nominee.