Lucille Clifton once wrote, “I am a Black woman poet and I sound like one.” When we find our voice as poets, the words we write begin to inhabit a unique presence on the page. In this five-week online workshop, we’ll study speech and style and how to define voice in poetry, analyzing the work of poets who excel at establishing voice through diction and character. We’ll explore the use of dialect, embodied persona and integrated language, and we’ll read and listen to recordings of poems by Patricia Smith, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jasmine Mans, Perez Firmat, Lucille Clifton, Danez Smith and Elizabeth Acevedo. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Sunday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
Starr Davis is a poet and essayist whose work has been featured in multiple literary venues such as the Kenyon Review, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, the Rumpus, So to Speak and Transition. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the City College of New York and a BA in journalism and creative writing from the University of Akron. She tutors marginalized groups of young African American female writers for the nonprofit organization Seeds of Fortune. She is the creative nonfiction editor for TriQuarterly.