Beauty & Truth

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
—Flannery O’Connor

We live in a world in which suffering coexists with beauty and mystery. If we turn away, if we refuse to see what is happening in the world we live in, we fail, in some sense, as writers. In this five-week online workshop, we’ll discuss the work of writers whose work is tethered to the real, and how such writing works to avoid nihilism by including the mysterious and the beautiful, the inexplicable. Writers we’ll be reading and discussing include Lawrence Joseph, Vijay Seshadri, Linda Gregg, Czeslaw Milosz, Marina Tsvetaeva, Clarice Lispector and Marguerite Duras, among others. We’ll engage in a series of writing exercises that enable us to draft poems grounded in reality and the world we live in, which we’ll workshop every week. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Saturday afternoon, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.

Workshop Details


American poet Cynthia Cruz is the author of six collections of poems, including Guidebooks for the Dead (Four Way Books, 2020), Dregs (Four Way Books, 2018), How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016), Wunderkammer (Four Way Books, 2014), The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012), and Ruin (Alice James Books, 2006). She is the editor of an anthology of Latina poetry, Other Musics: New Latina Poetry (University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), and her first collection of essays, Disquieting: Essays on Silence, an exploration of silence and power, was published in April of 2019 by Bookt*hug. Cruz teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University.