This generative, experimental writing hour will use prompts, model poems, deconstructed poems, stream-of-consciousness, repetition, close observation—you name it—to urge poems out from beneath the sand of your subconscious. If you like being surprised by where your poems come from and where they land you by the end, this is for you. Emphasis for poems written in class will be on narrative and memory, but won’t be limited to these things because the emotional truth of a poem may need more room than that! The beauty of a generative class is that the visceral process of writing and the flow of progressions within that process can be prized above polished, finished work, but the pieces begun in class can serve you with no time constraint later. This class is about being relaxed, inspired, encouraged, adventurous, and . . . having fun. Sharing will be encouraged but optional. (Note that drop-in classes are not a forum for critique of work; students looking for critique should register for multi-week workshops.)
Jessica Greenbaum’s first book, Inventing Difficulty, was awarded the Gerald Cable Prize and praised by George Steiner as a “first book by a poet very much to be listened to.” Her second book, The Two Yvonnes, was chosen by Paul Muldoon for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and recognized by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of Poetry in 2012. Her most recent book, Spilled and Gone, was recognized by the Boston Globe as a Best Book of 2021. She is the coeditor of the anthologies Mishkan Haseder: A Passover Haggadah and Tree Lines: 21st century American Poems. A recipient of awards from the NEA and PSA, she teaches inside and outside academia, including at Barnard College, Vassar, Dorot’s UWS senior center and both Central Synagogue and Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. As a social worker she has also taught poetry with communities who have experienced trauma.