Tricks of Inspiration

[Online Workshop]

This playful online workshop will introduce students to methods, games and experiments that will take them out of their usual patterns of thinking and writing into a place where they can listen to what language—or the Muses, or what Jack Spicer called “the radio’s Martians”—wants to tell them, allowing a space for the unknown to inhabit their lines. Each week on Wet Ink, students will be given a choice of two or three procedures they can experiment with. After generating material, students will be asked to expand and craft the language created through the procedures into a poem—that is, to look for and build on the places in their writing where the language comes to life, and to find in their explorations not just moments of whimsy, but places where there is metaphorical, visceral and psychological resonance or reality. Students will get feedback from one another and the instructor as we workshop the writing produced through these experiments. Poets we will be engaging with include Mary Ruefle, Arthur Rimbaud, Frank Lima, Robert Hass, Sharon Mesmer, Linh Dinh, Jean Arp, John Godfrey, Gillian Conoley, Linh Dinh, David Shapiro, Jayne Cortez, Bernadette Mayer and others.

Workshop Details


Joanna Fuhrman is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Year of Yellow Butterflies (Hanging Loose Press, 2015), Pageant (Alice James Books, 2009) and Moraine (Hanging Loose Press, 2006). She is a former poetry editor for Ping Pong and Boog City and served as the Monday-night coordinator for the poetry readings at the Poetry Project from 2001 to 2003 and the Wednesday-night coordinator from 2010 to 2011. She is a graduate of the University of Washington’s MFA program, which awarded her the Academy of American Poets Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including the Believer, Fence and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology. Her poem “Stagflation” won a 2011 Pushcart Prize. Fuhrman has been teaching for more than twenty years and currently teaches poetry writing at Rutgers University and Sarah Lawrence College’s Writers Village for teenagers.