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Read Like a Writer: Poetry - Session One - January 2024

The best way to improve as a poet is to "poem" (i.e., write poetry). The second best way is to read and analyze contemporary poetry to learn new ways of crafting. Join us for this reader series class where we will take a deep dive into the craft of one collection of poetry each month. We’ll unpack form, language, format, and more using examples from a wide variety of writers representing the future of poetry. We’ll also discuss what we can take away and learn for our own writing styles, projects, and processes. Join us for craft talk, writer-centered discussion, and great reading. 

NOTE: You can register for just the first session, or receive a discount by committing to the full year.


Session 1

Jan 13: Chrome Valley – Mahogany L. Browne
Feb 10: Feast – Ina Carino
Mar 9: April - Sara Nicholson
Apr 13: Whatever's Forbidden the Wise - Anthony Madrid

Session 2

May 11: From From - Monica Youn
June 8: All Souls - Saskia Hamilton
July 13: How to Communicate – John Lee Clark
Aug 10: What You Want - Maureen N. McLane

Session 3

Sep 14: suddenly we – Evie Shockley
Oct 12: West: A Translation – Paisley Rekdal
Nov 9: The Thomas Salto - Timmy Straw
Dec 14: To 2040 - Jorie Graham


Instructor: Michelle R. Smith is a writer, poet, educator, cultural facilitator, and native Clevelander. She is the Programming Director for Literary Cleveland and author of the poetry collections Ariel in Black (2015) and The Vagina Analogues (2020). She has been published in poemmemoirstoryMeridians: feminism, race, transnationalismThe Normal SchoolThe Gasconade Review, New Note Poetry, Merge Magazine, and io Literary Magazine. She has been a featured reader, instructor, and panelist at The Lakewood Public Library, The East Cleveland Public Library, The Cuyahoga County Public Library, The Cleveland Museum of Arts, Cleveland Drafts – Brews + Prose, PNC Fairfax Connection, Case Western Reserve University’s Writers House, and Literary Cleveland’s Inkubator Conference. She is also the creator, co-producer, and director of BLAX MUSEUM, an annual performance showcase for Northeast Ohio artists open to all forms and dedicated to honoring notable black figures in American history and culture.


Details: Read Like a Writer: Poetry - Session One takes place the second Saturday of each month from 11:00am-12:30pm remotely through Zoom.

Prerequisite: None

Genre: Poetry reader series

Level: All experience levels are welcome.

Format: Craft-based discussion

Location: This class takes place remotely online via Zoom.

Size: Limited to 25 participants (including scholarships).

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by December 11.

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


Contact Information - Required


Voluntary Demographic Information

NEW: As part of our ongoing efforts to make programs and classes more inclusive and accessible, we are now collecting voluntary demographic information during the registration process. The following information is entirely voluntary and will remain anonymous. It will only be used in aggregate to assess and improve services and inclusive practices to ensure we are serving our entire community equitably. Thank you!

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