We are writers, but not just writers. We bring different areas of expertise to the table—whether a profession, another creative passion, travel, or the experience of parenting a sick child. Have you ever had someone say “You should write about that,” and not known where to begin? This one-week intensive course unlocks that material.
We’ll begin with a one-on-one email consultation that identifies your core area of outside expertise; we’ll identify any concerns and troubleshoot. Each day’s work includes a generative exercise designed to move you from prosaic understanding to poetic phrasing. You can opt to work in the mode of poetry or flash nonfiction. We’ll focus on building a vocabulary for the reader, conceiving figurative language, and using form to enact content. We will read inspiring work from poets and memoirists who deploy their outside realms of knowledge on the page. You can create new drafts, or revise old ones, depending on what works best for you. Our culminating exchange will include editorial feedback on two to three poems or up to 1,800 words of nonfiction, and the option of a phone or video / Skype conference.
Sandra Beasley is the author of four poetry collections—Made to Explode, Count the Waves, I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling—as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir and cultural history of food allergies. She served as the editor for Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include the 2019 Munster Literature Centre’s John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, a 2015 NEA fellowship, and five DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. She lives in Washington, D.C.