The elegy is a poem of serious reflection, typically written as a lament for the dead. In this generative workshop, we will explore the elegy in all the various forms that poets have used to express loss, from the Latin elegiac couplet to Diane Khoi Nguyen’s gyotaku. We will use weekly prompts to attempt to put our own emotions of sorrow, consolation and relief into shapely forms. Questions we will explore: Are elegies always sad? Can they be political? Celebratory? Some poets whose work we will read and discuss include Marie Howe, Khaty Xiong, Danez Smith, Adrienne Rich, Natasha Trethewey, Nicole Sealey and Aracelis Girmay, among others.
Julie Hart, named Brooklyn Poets’ Yawper of the Year in 2015, has had her work published in various journals, most recently in Juniper, Rogue Agent and Noble/Gas Qtrly, and in the Brooklyn Poets Anthology. She holds an MPhil in history from NYU and taught English as a second language for fifteen years. In 2014, she cofounded Sweet Action Poetry Collective with Mirielle Clifford, and with the help of Emily Blair it has become a vibrant community of poets, featuring bimonthly workshops, annual readings and publications to promote the group’s work. She lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband and son.