Setting aside platitudes and toxic positivity culture, how can we use poetry as a means to reinvigorate our sense of wonder, pleasure and appreciation? In this five-week, online workshop, we’ll study how poets record small acts of kindness and crystalized moments of awe amidst the ordinary chaos of our daily routines and challenges. What do we deny ourselves? What do we carry? What are the moments of glee made more affecting when experienced at the center of grief and loss? We’ll explore these questions and more by looking at work by poets such as Ada Limón, Ross Gay, Maggie Smith, Joy Harjo, Cea, Marie Howe, Chen Chen, Danusha Lameris, Ellen Bass, Marilyn Chin and others. Participants will be given prompts from which to generate new work based on each week’s readings and much of our virtual time will be spent workshopping these drafts. Our shared experience will culminate in a fifth-week showcase where participants can bring in a piece from the last week’s prompt(s) or share a more recent draft from a previous week to receive updated feedback on. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
Seth Leeper is a queer poet. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Sycamore Review, River Styx, the Journal, Salamander, EcoTheo Review and the Account. A 2022 Brooklyn Poets Fellow, he holds an MA in special education from Pace University and BA in creative writing and fashion journalism from San Francisco State University. He lives and teaches in Brooklyn, NY. He tweets @sethwleeper.