Fall (Back) In Love with Poetry

with Moriel Rothman-Zecher

poetry writing course

August 31, 2021 | 5 Weeks |

$275.00

Text and Live Video

Poetry is, I think, the highest written art form, the one whose form strives most fundamentally to “tell the truth but tell it slant” (Emily Dickinson). And yet: Poetry does not have to be daunting or alienating. Rather, reading and writing poetry can be a source of ease, joy, solace and exploration: “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world” (Walt Whitman). Or, put otherwise: reading and writing poetry can be a tremendous source of playfulness and freedom, if only we let it.

In this 6-week workshop, we’ll read, write, revise and fall (back) in love with poetry. Poetry is an awesome thing, in the Biblical sense of the word. It is an effort to tell the truth, to translate life and love and agony and death into words; it doesn’t matter what we write about, for, as Frank X. Gaspar put it, “It’s never the aboutness of anything but the wailing underneath it.” So, there is space for the fear of poetry—and then for us to write our own poems anyway, playfully, bravely, recklessly, yawpingly. Not in spite of this fear, but alongside it.

Participants in this workshop will, hopefully, come away with a renewed—or new—sense of love for poetry, confidence in reading and writing poetry, and delight along the way. Everyone will have a chance to workshop up to four poems, and to get detailed written and verbal feedback both from the instructor and from their peers. Here’s how the five weeks will look:

Learning and Writing Goals

Students will have written new drafts of poems; received detailed feedback on up to four poems; familiarized themselves with the work of a number of contemporary poets; and hopefully increased their love for and ease with poetry in general.

Course Syllabus

Week 1 — Wednesday, August 31st

On the 31st, the first set of readings (short and inviting!) will be made available, and participants will be asked to come to workshop having read these poems, and to introduce themselves

Tuesday, Sept 6: Workshop 1. From 8:00pm-10:00pm EST, there will be a synchronous, online workshop in which we will have time to discuss the poems we read, to establish our hopes and goals and expectations for this course, and to collective come up with a workshop schedule for the coming weeks (including due dates, best practices, etc.)

Week 2 — Wednesday, Sept 7

Reading and writing assignments posted.

Tuesday, September 13: Workshop 2. 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST. In this class, we will begin workshop, we will discuss the readings, do a writing activity, and then workshop the first set of poems by class participants.

Week 3— Wednesday, Sept 14

Reading and writing assignments posted.

Tuesday, September 20: Workshop 3. 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST. Discuss the readings, do a writing activity, and then workshop the next set of poems by class participants.

Week 4— Wednesday, Sept 21

Reading and writing assignments posted.

Tuesday, September 27: Workshop 4. 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST. Discuss the readings, do a writing activity, and then workshop the next set of poems by class participants.

Week 5— Wednesday, September 28

Reading and writing assignments posted.

Tuesday, October 4: Workshop 5. 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST. Discuss the readings, do a writing activity, and then workshop the next set of poems by class participants. Final workshop.

Questions about the course content? Contact instructor directly.
Learn more about how our courses work here, and contact us with any other questions.

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Student Feedback for Moriel Rothman-Zecher:

This setting, encompassing length, content and format, facilitated by a warm and knowledgeable teacher, offered a great dipping point into a craft that can be intimidating for so many of us! A wonderfully positive experience! Rosemarie McGourty

The workshop was great. The teacher was great. I learned about modern sonnets and I am so happy. Avis Dawkins

moriel rothman zecher headshot

About Moriel Rothman-Zecher

Moriel Rothman-Zecher is the author of the novels Before All the World, which is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux on October 11, 2022, and from Corsair Books / Little, Brown UK in January, 2023; and Sadness Is a White Bird (Atria Books, 2018), for which he received the National Book Foundation’s ‘5 Under 35’ Honor, and which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the winner of the Ohioana Book Award, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, the winner of the Cincinnati Books by the Banks Author Award, and longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. His essays and poems have been published or are forthcoming in BarrelhouseColorado Review, The Common Magazine, Cutleaf Journal, Haaretz, The New York Times, Paper Brigade Literary Magazine, The Paris Review’s Daily, Runner’s World, The Tel Aviv Review of Books, ZYZZYVA Magazine, and elsewhere. Moriel is the recipient of two MacDowell Fellowships for Literature (2017 & 2020), a Wallis Annenberg Helix Fellowship for Yiddish Cultural Studies (2018-2019), and a Bennington Writing Seminars Donald Hall Scholarship for Poets (2021). Moriel teaches Creative Writing at the University of Dayton and online through the Catapult Writing Program and Writers.com.