In “Love Poem,” Louise Gluck matter-of-factly asserts that “there is always something to be made of pain.” In our hunger for connection with one another, experiences of division, disruption and loss are inevitable, but what—if anything—can we learn from intimate relationships that fragment, often to the point of breaking? In this weekly, in-person drop-in-class, we’ll focus on poetry that depicts families and romantic relationships in crisis to better understand the difficult yet often edifying role that rupture can play in our lives. Our weekly exercises will include generative writing prompts that ask each writer to apply the techniques we observe poets using to convey rupture on the page. Is rupture, however unsettling, perhaps a necessary part of our growth processes, an opportunity to enhance our capacity for connection? Discussions will also address the ways in which capitalism, war, xenophobia, racism and other forms of oppression interfere with our most personal, meaningful bonds. Weekly readings will include poems by Natalie Diaz, Jericho Brown, Jenny Xie, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Li-Young Lee, Marie Howe, Tina Chang, Paul Celan and others. 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.)

Drop-In Details

  • Teacher: Matthew Gellman
  • Dates: Sep 30–Nov 18, 2023
  • Time: Saturdays, 11:00 am–12:00 pm
  • Location: 144 Montague
  • Cost: $25 GA /$20 for members
  • Upcoming dates off: Sept 30 cancelled (teacher illness)

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Matthew Gellman

Matthew Gellman

Matthew Gellman is the author of Night Logic, selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of Tupelo Press’s 2021 Snowbound Chapbook Award. His first full-length collection of poetry, Beforelight, was selected by Tina Chang as the winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from BOA Editions. A 2023–2024 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Matthew has also received awards and honors from Brooklyn Poets, the Adroit Journal‘s Djanikian Scholars Program, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Summer Writers Institute, and the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Narrative, the Common, North American Review, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, the Nashville Review, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight and other publications. Matthew holds an MFA from Columbia University and lives in New York, where he teaches at Hunter College and the Fashion Institute of Technology.