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Writers Workshops

Poetry Online 2020-211

Course #2020-211
Mondays Starting July 13 6:30 pm–8:30 pm running 6 weeks
Cost: $240 Instructor: Robin Davidson
This workshop is full

Please note that this is an online workshop conducted via Zoom. Participants will be provided information on how to join the online sessions.

Writing Our Truth: Memory, History, and Lyric Form

In her book Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, Jane Hirschfield writes, “Good art is a truing of vision, in the way a saw is trued in the saw shop, to cut more cleanly. It is also a changing of vision.” Literary texts offer the opportunity for such “truing,” acute seeing, in terms of both personal and social transformation.  In this 6-week workshop, we will consider the tumult of contemporary experience in the U.S. by exploring memory (our interior lives) and history (the intersection of the personal with one’s historical moment) as these inform a writer’s vision. We will read selected poems that use writerly strategies engaging personal memory and simultaneously locating those personal experiences in history. In particular, we will consider notions of home, exile, refuge; social injustice and resistance; and global pandemic, as these phenomena have shaped and continue to impact our daily lives. We’ll then shift to a discussion of lyric form and hybridity—the use of verse, story, reportage, song, visual image, typography, as elements of poetic collage and artistic response. Through in-class writing exercises and discussion, we will begin to shape our own literary projects as mosaics evocative of the postmodern era in which we live and write. This workshop is recommended for first time poets as well as those that have been writing for some time.

Poems for discussion will be selected from the following collections:

  • Mai Der Vang, Afterland (Graywolf Press, 2017)
  • Carolyn Forché, In the Lateness of the World (Penguin Press, 2020)
  • Joy Harjo, American Sunrise (Norton, 2019)
  • Tyehimba Jess, Olio (Wave Books, 2016 – 2017 Pulitzer Prize)
  • Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press, 2019)
  • Solmaz Sharif, Look (Graywolf Press, 2016)
  • ire’ne lara silva, Cuicacalli/House of Song (Saddle Road Press, 2019)

About the instructor

ROBIN DAVIDSON is the author of the collection Luminous Other, awarded the Ashland Poetry Press’s 2012 Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize, and two chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World. Recipient of a Fulbright professorship at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland and an NEA translation fellowship, she is co-translator with Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska of Ewa Lipska’s poems from the Polish—The New Century (Northwestern UP, 2009). Davidson served as 2015-2017 Houston Poet Laureate and edited the citywide 2018 anthology, Houston’s Favorite Poems. She was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2019. She teaches literature and creative writing as professor emeritus of English at the UH-Downtown.

Please note that online workshops are nonrefundable. By registering for an Inprint Writers Workshop you are agreeing to Inprint’s registration  policies.