Praising the Stone

Too often as writers, we fling ourselves against the mysteries of our lives as if life were a problem to be solved. We grip the stones of our histories and they do not open, they do not crack. Again and again we say, like Jean Valentine, “Door in the mountain, let me in.” We long for clarity and yet as Mahmoud Darwish writes, “extreme clarity is a mystery.” And it is in the mystery, the unknown, the mythic that is interwoven in ourselves, where our own individual language or languages rise to the surface. In this craft lab we’ll look at poems that allow space for wonder, for unearthing, for duende. Together, we’ll write “seeds” of new poems with exercises that encourage us to find our idiosyncratic music.

All participants will have access to a cloud recording of the craft lab for one month afterward.

Craft Lab Details


Ada Limón

Ada Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her book Bright Dead Things was nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her work has been supported most recently by a Guggenheim Fellowship. She grew up in Sonoma, California, and now lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where she writes, teaches remotely and hosts the critically acclaimed poetry podcast The Slowdown. Her new book of poetry, The Hurting Kind, is out now from Milkweed Editions. She is the twenty-fourth poet laureate of the United States.