Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown

24Pearlstreet Workshops

Fred Marchant Water, Fire, Earth, and Air Poetry April 26 to May 21, 2021 Tuition: $550 Class Size: 15 Session: spring Level: 4 week asynchronous workshop


In many ancient cultures, all matter was said to consist of four elements: water, fire, earth, and air. In our four-week, generative workshop, we’ll read, discuss, and write poetry related to these four elements. Focusing on one of these elements each week, there will be craft-lectures on how and why a given element might point us in the direction of a new poem. Where is the poetry in air? What might water or fire teach us about poetic form? How does one write the poem of the earth? Questions such as these will guide us as we read and discuss poems from the ancient world to the present. There will also be writing prompts based on our readings and discussions. Ultimately the focus of each week will be on the work you do during our time together. The goal will be at least one new poem each week of our workshop. The hope will be that you will via these elemental matters tap into new linguistic energies and poetic possibilities for your work.

OPTIONAL LIVE ELEMENTS: a group reading at the end of the course, and the possibility of an individual conference at some point during the month.


Fred Marchant is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Said Not Said (Graywolf Press, 2017). Earlier books include Full Moon Boat, The Looking House, Tipping Point, and House on Water, House in Air. Marchant has co-translated work by several Vietnamese poets, and edited Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford. An emeritus professor of English, he is founding director of the Suffolk University Poetry Center in Boston.