How do we write poems based on our memories if memory itself is so malleable and unreliable? What are the different ways we remember? How can we use our memories to enhance our work and get to the emotional truth? In this five-week workshop, we’ll attempt to answer the thorny questions surrounding truth and memory and mine our own histories as a springboard to get to unexpected poetic places. We’ll use plenty of generative exercises as well as critique each week and discuss approaches to revision. We’ll explore work by Eduardo Corral, Eugenia Leigh, Shane McCrae, Sharon Olds, Danielle Pafunda, Adrienne Su and others.
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.
Lynn Melnick is the author of the memoir I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton, from the University of Texas Press’s American Music Series (2022). She is also the author of three poetry collections, Refusenik (2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), all with YesYes Books, and the coeditor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). Her work has appeared in APR, the LA Review of Books, New Republic, New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry and the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture.