In this weekly drop-in class, we’ll look at poems that explore sex, desire and intimacy. We’ll spend our time analyzing poems by Sharon Olds, Carl Phillips, Adrienne Rich, Eduardo C. Corral, Jake Skeets, Chen Chen and more. Our aim is not to write the sexiest poem the world has ever seen, but to understand the differences between cliché, sentimentality, figurative language, vulnerability and tenderness. Through writing and listening prompts, exercises, and conversations, we will challenge our ideas about the sex poem. 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.)
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Luther Hughes is the author of the debut poetry collection A Shiver in the Leaves (BOA Editions, 2022) and the chapbook Touched (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018), recommended by the American Library Association. He is the founder of Shade Literary Arts, a literary organization for queer writers of color, and cohosts the Poet Salon podcast. He is the recipient of a 2020 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship and the 2020 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. His writing has been published in American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Orion and more. Hughes has mentored and taught at several universities and institutions, including Washington University in St. Louis, where he received his MFA in poetry. He was born and raised in Seattle, where he currently lives.