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Writing Poems Bigger Than the Poet

Over the course of this 6-week workshop, we will consider a variety of strategies and techniques that will allow us to write poems that center more than just the speaker and their experiences. From persona to ekphrasis, updating myth to object poems, we'll develop ways of considering not just how poems can look outside the self, but how to make poems that contemplate the speaker's connections to experiences within and beyond them, with the ultimate hope of writing poems that include the speaker but as a member, not the star, of a complex cast. Each week will involve readings, of poets like Vievee Francis, Shangyang Fang, Pablo Neruda, Matthew Olzmann, and many more; there will also be weekly workshops where folks can share work and receive constructive, thoughtful feedback about how their poems are working, within the larger conceptual frame of the class.

Instructor: Conor Bracken is a poet and translator. His chapbook, Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour, was selected by Diane Seuss as winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Contest. He is also the translator of Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine’s Scorpionic Sun (CSU Poetry Center) and Jean D'Amérique's No Way in the Skin without this Bloody Embrace (Ugly Duckling Presse). His work has earned fellowships from Bread Loaf, the Community of Writers, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and has appeared in places like BOMB, jubilat, New England Review, and The New Yorker, among others. His first full-length collection of poems, The Enemy of My Enemy is Me, is out now with Diode Editions.


Details: Writing Poems Bigger Than the Poet takes place Mondays March 6, March 13, March 20, March 27, April 3, and April 10 from 7-9pm remotely through Zoom.

Genre: Poetry

Level: Intermediate

Format: Craft and generative workshop with writing outside of class and peer feedback.

Location: This class takes place remotely online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 12 participants (including scholarships).

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with a craft and/or generative nonfiction workshop, a feedback course, or a publishing course.

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by December 1.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first class meeting to receive a full refund. Email


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