The Possibility Lab

Revision & Editing Intensive

When it comes to reading poetry, many folks agree with what Edward Hirsch says: “Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder.” But when it comes to revising and editing poetry? Words like “adventure” and “wonder” aren’t always the first to roll off the tongue. In this seven-week online workshop, we’ll forgo the “ascension” approach where each draft is urged to ascend toward a “better” place; instead, we’ll prize a more circuitous, delightful dance, employing play, curiosity, experimentation, accident and fun. We’ll fancy ourselves scientists in a lab, conducting experiments, chemists of language and structure courting a process full of fizz and surprise. Instead of feeling daunted by drafting, we’ll focus on honing various tools and using prompts and interdisciplinary texts to approach drafting as a deeply creative act, full of unexpected turns and colors and gifting us the skillsets of flexibility, spontaneity and confidence in the unknown. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Wednesday night, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink. Students should have some prior workshop experience and come to the course with several poems they’re enthusiastic about revising and editing.

Workshop Details


Shira Erlichman is a poet, musician and visual artist. She was born in Israel and immigrated to the US when she was six. Her poems explore recovery—of language, of home, of mind—and value the “scattered wholeness” of healing. She earned her BA at Hampshire College and has been awarded the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe and a residency by the Millay Colony. Her work has been featured in the PBS NewsHour Poetry Series, Huffington Post, Seattle Times and New York Times, among other publications. Her debut poetry book, Odes to Lithium, was published by Alice James Books in September 2019. She is also the author and illustrator of the picture book Be/Hold (Penny Candy Books, 2019). She has taught for Urban Word NYC, the Volume Summer Institute and York College–CUNY, and she has been teaching online poetry classes via her company Freer Form for the last nine years. She lives in Brooklyn.