Death to the Speaker

In poetry, we typically confront our flaws, habits, defects, scruples, whims, corruption, terror and arrogance by insisting that these traits belong to someone other than the poet. We call this person “the speaker.” In this workshop, poets will be encouraged to refuse the tradition of the speaker and write poems that engage honestly and unabashedly with the self: the language, outrages, images, triumphs and obsessions that color the life of the individual. Poets should be prepared to identify themselves as the voice of their poems, debate the conflicts of the language they choose and hold themselves responsible for these decisions. The goal of this workshop is to break down the power relationship that exists between poet and audience and move toward an uninhibited conversation between poets and the people who hear them. Writers assigned in this workshop will include Edouard Leve, Frank Bidart, Anna Moschovakis, John Berryman, Eileen Myles, Frank Stanford, William Carlos Williams and many others.

Workshop Details


Danniel Schoonebeek is the author of American Barricade (Yes Yes Books, 2014) and a chapbook, Family Album (Poor Claudia, 2014), as well as an EP of recorded poems, Trench Mouth, (Black Cake Records, 2014). His work has appeared in Poetry, Tin House, Boston Review, Fence, BOMB, Indiana Review, jubilat, Denver Quarterly and elsewhere. He writes a monthly column on poetry for the American Reader, hosts the Hatchet Job reading series in Brooklyn and edits the PEN Poetry Series. In 2015, Poor Claudia will release his second full-length book, a travelogue called C’est La Guerre.