The Economics of Poetry

The language of political economy is a kind of poetry we use every day to express our having and our not having, our happiness and our frustrations. This workshop will focus on thinking more intentionally about the ways we can engage with and generate poetry based on our material selves: can we use poetry to bring attention to our own economic privileges / modes of alienation / commodification / surplus labor and then interrogate them? We will also consider economy in terms of form: what are the basic necessities of our poetic line versus what is superfluous? How do our authorial choices reflect our conceptions of individuality versus collectivism? Our work can then explore all of the ways in which our relationship to money informs everything else in our lives.

Workshop Details


Vanessa Jimenez Gabb is the author of Images for Radical Politics, which was the Editor’s Choice in the 2015 Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Contest, and the chapbooks midnight blue and Weekend Poems. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as Time Out NY, jubilat, Sixth Finch, VIDA, Big Lucks, Bone Bouquet and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, and in 2012 she cofounded the literary project Five Quarterly. She holds an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College–CUNY, where she was the recipient of the 2010 Himan Brown Award, and she has taught English and creative writing at St. John’s University and Newark Academy, where she is currently on faculty. She is from and lives in Brooklyn.