Divas & dancebreaks. Breakdowns & breakups. Beyoncé & Mariah. Cher & Sophie. How do music videos work like poetry-in-motion to aid in artistic reinvention? In this five-week online workshop, we’ll explore the crossroads between poetry, relationships and the enduring presence of music videos. What began in the early 1980s as mere promotional work for a popular song, the music video quickly became seen by singers and bands as an artistic opportunity to elevate their work. Which videos today use poetic devices to create lasting artistic impressions, and how can poets be inspired by them? We’ll explore how music videos heighten, elevate and even complicate the lyrics of their songs, looking for motifs, metaphors and other devices that might speak to how poets write about music specifically and pop culture in general. We’ll draw inspiration from work by authors like Willie Perdomo, D. A. Powell, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Natalie Diaz, Porsha Olayiwola and more. Students will respond with poems of their own to weekly prompts that include exploring poetic elements in music videos, unlocking your inner power ballad, discovering how rhythm and beat can drive your words forward, giving new dimensions to the idea of divas, and more. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Tuesday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
Rosebud Ben-Oni is the winner of the 2019 Alice James Award for If This Is the Age We End Discovery (2021) and the author of turn around, BRXGHT XYXS (Get Fresh Books, 2019). Her chapbook 20 Atomic Sonnets, which appears in Black Warrior Review (2020), is part of a larger future project called The Atomic Sonnets, which she began in 2019 in honor of the Periodic Table’s 150th Birthday. She is a 2013 CantoMundo Fellow and the recipient of a 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry. Her work appears in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Tin House, Guernica and TriQuarterly, among others. In 2017, her poem “Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark” was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC and published by Kenyon Review online. Recently, her poem “Dancing with Kiko on the Moon” was featured on Tracy K. Smith’s The Slowdown. She writes for the Kenyon Review blog.