Spring 2017: Break Your Poetry


Spring 2017: Break Your Poetry


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Saturday May 6 & Sunday May 7, 2017
10:00 to 2:30 p.m. (half hour break for lunch)
Class meets at Literary Arts, 925 SW Washington
Class is limited to 12 students

All poets come to a point at least once in their careers when what they’ve already discovered about language, thought, and feeling seems uninteresting, and the way forward in their art is not clear. Most poets come to this point at least yearly. This can be the nagging feeling that something truer is hiding in you, the maddening feeling that other people are writing cooler stuff than you, or the suspicion that all your poetry actually sucks and why did you ever even bother to try?

In this workshop, participants will look at a number of ways to break, weave, dodge, and skip through these times so that you can get back to surprising yourself. The techniques and methods explored range from the historical to the completely new, from the collaborative to the deeply solitary, and from the wildly analogue to the digital. Participants will produce a number of documents for the class, some of which will be discovered to be poems. It is not necessary for participants to be currently undergoing any difficulty with their writing, but it is absolutely necessary that participants come with a willingness to be challenged and an earnest desire to grow.Because of the many online tools we’ll survey as means of revision and generation, each participant is required to bring a laptop.

Donald Dunbar is the author of Eyelid Lickwinner of the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series prize, and Safe Word, forthcoming from Gramma Poetry in mid-2017. His poems have appeared in Tin HouseAcademy of American Poets Poem-a-DayPEN America, and dozens of other publications, and his critical writing includes the columnPOEMHACK which helped writers rethink their poems through close reading. He is/has been involved with draft: The Journal of ProcessThe Poetry Data Project, and the long-running PDX reading series If Not For Kidnap