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Short Poems

Short Poems

The temple bell stops—
     but the sound keeps coming
     out of the flowers.


     —Matsuo Bashō (trans. by Robert Bly)


Great short poems (like Bashō’s above) can, after one read, stick with you for a lifetime. Some are written quickly, and others emerge as the result of weeks or years of work. This generative workshop welcomes students who are interested in tapping into the power of short poems. We’ll discuss the impact and inherent power of single words, phrases, images and gestures; consider the energy of the blank space that surrounds a few carefully crafted, sonically and visually attuned lines; embrace compression; and rescue strong short poems from longer drafts. Students will complete a variety of generative exercises to write poems that range from 1 to 14 lines: haiku, sonnets, lyrics, and free verse. We’ll take cues from poets such as Kobayashi Issa, Fanny Howe, Federico García Lorca, A.R. Ammons, Lucille Clifton and Larry Eigner. We’ll also explore the art of Jenny Holzer and Adrian Piper, who effectively use short phrases and sentences in their work. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Thursday night, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink. After our time together, each participant will have 4–6 new, workshopped poems, detailed written critiques of these poems, and a stronger capacity to write striking, dynamic short poems.

Workshop Details

  • Professor: Emily Hunt
  • Dates: April 2—30, 2020
  • Time: Thursdays, 6:30—9:30 PM
  • Location: online
  • Cost: $345
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, MARCH 29, 2020
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off by SUN, FEB 2