My House But Not My House

The Surrealist Imagination

What we love most about our dreams is also what can make them frightening: they’re of our own making, but out of our control. Surrealism aims to access the parts of us that build the imaginative landscapes we visit in our dreams and turn those parts loose in our waking lives and our writing. In this single-session workshop, we’ll discuss the many functions of the imagination in poetry and use surrealist techniques to revitalize how we approach imagery in our own work. The Surrealists played rigorous games to activate their imaginations, and we will, too! Students are invited to submit poems for workshop that are surrealist in nature or approach, but not required—any work is welcome.

Workshop Details


Laura Eve Engel is the author of Things That Go (Octopus Books, 2019). A recipient of fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, her work can be found in the Nation, Best American Poetry, Boston Review, PEN America, Tin House and elsewhere. She has taught courses in creative writing, literature and composition at the University of Houston, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Fordham University, among other places, and for ten years she worked with high-school-age writers and new teachers at the University of Virginia’s Young Writers Workshop, where she served as residential program director from 2012 to 2017. A musician in the off-hours, she’s one half of a band called The Old Year.