A poem is a work of strategic absence. Decisions about the content, rhythm, punctuation and visual space of a poem are as much about exclusion as inclusion. In this six-week online workshop, participants will examine how poets create sonic, conceptual and visual space and integrate these creative decisions into their work. We’ll compare historical and contemporary poetic structures, from the ghazal and sonnet to the prose poem and erasure poem. Readings will include work by Morgan Parker, Wendy Xu, Hanif Abdurraqib, Hafiz, Agha Shahid Ali, M. NourbeSe Philip, Melvin Dixon and Yanyi. Participants will analyze different poetic strategies, draft five poems of their own, and give and receive feedback each week asynchronously via Wet Ink. The professor will provide video introductions to course material and assignments and, at the end of the course, a one-on-one video conference with each student.
Candace Williams is a black queer nerd living a double life. By day, she’s a sixth-grade humanities educator and robotics coach. By night and subway ride, she’s a poet. Her Spells for Black Wizards was a 2017 TAR Chapbook Series winner and published by the Atlas Review, and futureblack, her first full-length poetry manuscript, was a 2018 National Poetry Series finalist. Her work has appeared in the PEN Poetry Series, Tin House, Hyperallergic and Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, among other places. She earned her master’s in education from Stanford University and has been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem, Brooklyn Poets and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.