Participants will spend the first part of this biweekly class writing out their dreams—their most recent dreams, their most memorable dreams, the dreams that have stuck with them—which will form the foundations of their poems. If they cannot remember their dreams, they can write about resonant memories or journal about important moments. We will sometimes shift to stream-of-consciousness writing. We will often read a poem that will act as an engine for that day’s workshop. Devices from that poem will dictate what we do with the dream / stream-of-consciousness writing. Examples: pull three lines from the writing—without thinking too much about it—and craft a sonnet around it. Or write a prose poem about the dream / memory but in reverse order of how you wrote it. Or, if there are other people populating the poem, write in couplets from one of their perspectives juxtaposed with yours. The idea will be to follow our instincts and learn to trust where our subconscious is guiding us rather than overthinking due to more capitalist ideas of craft and productivity. (Note that drop-in classes are not a forum for critique of work; students looking for critique should register for multi-week workshops.)
Anthony Thomas Lombardi is a Pushcart-nominated poet, editor, organizer, activist and educator. He is the founder and director of Word is Bond, a community-centered reading series partnered with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop that raises funds for transnational relief efforts, bail funds and mutual aid organizations, and he serves as a poetry editor for Sundog Lit. He has taught for the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Polyphony Lit’s Summer Editorial Apprenticeship Program and community programming throughout New York City. A recipient of the Poetry Project’s Emerge-Surface-Be Fellowship, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Poetry Foundation’s Ours Poetica, Guernica, Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, North American Review and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn with his cat, Dilla.