Ezra Pound defines an image as that which “presents an emotional and intellectual complex in an instant of time.” This encapsulates perfectly how images focus a reader’s attention. In this workshop we will work on how to create images in poems that clarify an emotion or idea by being grounded in time and space; how to create images that start from an abstract emotion or idea and clarify or complicate it; and how to choose emotionally and intellectually commensurate images for your poems. We will also distinguish between simile, metaphor and symbol, delineating how each of these gradations of representation affects the reader. We will look at poems by Whitman, Moore, Lucille Clifton, Francisco Alarcon, Louise Glück, Tony Hoagland, Claudia Rankine, Natalie Diaz, Jamaal May, francine j harris, Tarfia Faizullah and others for examples of various poetic structures.
David Tomas Martinez’s debut collection of poetry, Hustle (Sarabande Books, 2014), won the New England Book Festival’s prize in poetry. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Poetry, Ploughshares and Oxford American, among many other journals, and he has been featured or written about in Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, NPR’s All Things Considered and other venues. A Bread Loaf and CantoMundo Fellow, Martinez received his MFA from San Diego State University and is currently a PhD candidate in poetry at the University of Houston, where he is the Reviews and Interviews Editor for Gulf Coast. He lives in Clinton Hill.