The Narrative Poem

This workshop will focus on the use of narrative techniques and storytelling in poetic verse. Since poetry is often shaped by our perception of moments and physical interactions with the world and the metaphysical landscape, we can inhabit the poem as a means to express different perspectives, bodies and places—as a way to write a journey, to understand our voices and other voices. In order to understand how to tell a story through poetry, we will study Elizabeth Bishop, Jamaica Kincaid, Chiwan Choi, Charles Simic, Nick Flynn, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Nathan McClain and Marguerite Duras, along with using other mediums to aid storytelling, such as film and visual art.

Workshop Details


Joanna C. Valente is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (ELJ Editions, 2016) and Xenos (Agape Editions, 2017). She is also the editor of A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). Some of her work appears or is forthcoming in the Huffington Post, Columbia Journal, Similar Peaks, Paris-American, BORT Quarterly and Tinderbox, among other places. She earned her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College and in 2011 received the American Society of Poets Prize. She is the founder of Yes, Poetry and a managing editor for Luna Luna and CCM. She lives in Sunset Park.