This workshop will delve into the ubiquity of the sonnet in English poetry, a form at once elastic and strict, durable and dissolute, old-fashioned and ever-renewing. Students will write and workshop variations stemming from the Italian and English models to the modern period and beyond. What is it that makes the sonnet so useful as a baseline for composition? How can writing sonnets improve and refine a poet’s prosody—even if you don’t wind up writing a sonnet at all? How do the ideas embedded in the form translate to contemporary poetic practice? This generative workshop will wrestle with all of these questions and point toward numerous possible answers that refine and revivify your relationship to both form and content. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Thursday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
Gregory Crosby is the author of Said No One Ever, Walking Away from Explosions in Slow Motion and the chapbooks Spooky Action at a Distance and The Book of Thirteen. For more than a decade he worked as an art critic, columnist and cultural commentator in Las Vegas, where he served as a poetry consultant for the Cultural Affairs Division. He was awarded a Nevada Arts Council Fellowship in Literary Arts and holds an MFA in creative writing from the City College of New York, where he won the 2006 Marie Ponsot Poetry Prize. From 2010 to 2014 he cocurated the Earshot reading series and from 2011 to 2015 he coedited the online poetry journal Lyre Lyre. Currently he is the poetry editor for Bowery Gothic and an adjunct assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he teaches creative writing.