Montage as Poetic Form

Accumulation & Fragmentation

…the montage form…its philosophic play of distances, transitions, and intersections, its perpetually shifting contexts and ironic juxtapositions…
—Walter Benjamin

How might we write about discontinuous yet interconnected events? How might we write poems that are not bound by a singular narrative, poems with greater scope and scale? What do we do with “abandoned” lines and poems? As the above epigraph by Benjamin suggests, montage offers a compelling range and flexibility of concern when applied as a poetic form. In this generative, single-session workshop, we’ll practice our own process of compiling poetic fragments and assembling them into accumulated poems through writing exercises and free-writes. We’ll look at poems by Rane Arroyo, Christine Larusso, William Carlos Williams and others as models for our own poems. Though the focus of the workshop will be on creating new work, there will be many opportunities for sharing along the way. By the end of the workshop, participants will have drafts of new work and an understanding of how to use montage as a poetic form in their own poetry practice.


Workshop Details


Robert Balun teaches creative writing and literature at the City College of New York, where he received his MFA in 2014. His first collection of poems, Acid Western, was published by the Operating System in 2020, and recent work has appeared in Powder Keg, Prelude, Barrow Street, Apogee and other places. He is a recipient of the Teacher-Writer Award, the Jerome Lowell Dejur Prize and a Sydney Jacoff Fellowship from CCNY, as well as scholarships from the Home School, the Garrison Institute and the CUNY School of Journalism.