Patricia Smith once said that “poetry should always listen for the voice it’s not hearing.” What if one of those voices belongs to you? This generative, six-week online workshop will familiarize you with a range of storytelling techniques in poetry across forms. We’ll ask what makes a story juicy, and we’ll challenge ourselves to practice making that juice from scratch. We’ll spend time with the illuminating work of Rachel McKibbens, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Acevedo, Benjamin Garcia, Patricia Smith, Ariana Brown, Paul Tran, Jon Sands and more. By the workshop’s end we’ll have written origin poems, persona poems, occasional poems and multivocal poems together. Ultimately, the goal of this workshop is to develop lyric fluency and practice mindful attention to poetic narrative construction. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Thursday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
Imani Davis is a queer Black writer from Brooklyn. A Pushcart Prize–nominated poet, they’ve earned fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lambda Literary, BOAAT Press and the Stadler Center for Poetry. They completed their BA in English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and they’re currently pursuing a PhD in American Studies at Harvard. Imani has been facilitating workshops and poetry courses for over six years. Their poetry appears in Best New Poets 2020, Best of the Net, PBS NewsHour’s Brief But Spectacular series, Poetry Daily, Shade Literary Arts, the Offing, Adroit Journal and elsewhere.