In this workshop, we’ll focus on writing poems that tell stories of various kinds. We’ll explore the ways in which basic lyric elements common to most good poems, such as imagery, metaphor, repetition, and the line, are used in conjunction with traditional narrative elements like story, character, and scene, to create powerful, evocative poems. We’ll read and discuss a variety of narrative poems, and working with the models and exercises we’ll share in class, you’ll compose and discuss new drafts. This is a generative class, designed to send you home with drafts and ideas towards new work. Writers at all levels of experience and skill are welcome.
Susan Aizenberg is the author of three poetry collections: Quiet City (BkMk Press); Muse (Crab Orchard Poetry Series); and Peru in Take Three: 2/AGNI New Poets Series (Graywolf Press). She is co-editor, with Erin Belieu, of The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia University Press). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, among them North American Review, Numero Cinq, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Connotation Press, Spillway, The Journal, Midwest Quarterly Review, Hunger Mountain, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. They have been reprinted and are forthcoming in several anthologies, including New Poetry from the Midwest (New American Press), Ley Lines (Wilfrid Laurier UP) and Wild and Whirling Words: A Poetic Conversation (Etruscan). Her awards include a Crab Orchard Poetry Series Award, the Nebraska Book Award for Poetry, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Levis Prize, a Distinguished Artist Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council, the Mari Sandoz Award from the Nebraska Library Association, and a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner award. Aizenberg is Professor Emerita (creative writing and English) in the Creighton University M.F.A. and undergraduate creative writing programs and now lives and writes in Iowa City. She serves as U.S. Poetry Editor for Numero Cinq and can be reached through her website: susanaizenberg.com.