Disturbance and Possession: Exploring the Composition Process

Open Seats


Regular $280.00
Member $252.00
January 19, 2021-March 9, 2021
Noon-2 p.m.
Online—Live Meeting
Number of Sessions
Day of the Week
8 Week
Poetry Graphic

Poetry, writes Mary Kinzie, is language in response to “the disturbance of occasion.” Poets, she claims, listen, as they compose, to the voice that decides “the rightness to their designs.” And the poet Robert Glück regards a poem as “an instance of possession.”

This class focuses on the composition process: on the initial disturbance and possession—the imperative of a poem’s origins—and on how we learn to pay attention to the poem as it comes into being. How do you actually discover the poem’s true subject? When you are aware of the poem’s true trajectory, how do you begin making more conscious technical/craft choices and honouring the “voice” that decides the “rightness of your designs”? Using interviews from Passwords Primeval (book), from How a Poem Happens (website), and listening to Tracy K Smith’s podcast The Slow Down, we will explore /discuss the origins of poems in general and of your own poems in particular, becoming more conscious of their genesis and of the craft choices you make (and why you make them).

Weekly prompts given. Weekly workshops will enable you to receive feedback and articulate your process and connect it to questions raised in the discussions/readings.

Instructions for Accessing This Online Class

In order to access live class meetings, you must have the Zoom application downloaded to your computer. You will also need a WiFi/Internet connection throughout the duration of your scheduled meeting and a computer with audio and video capability. The information to join your Zoom classroom will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration. Please check spam folders if you do not see this email upon registration. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.

Some classes use a supplemental Google Classroom page. Should your teaching artist use Google Classroom, you will be invited to join the classroom via email at least 24 hours in advance of your class (check spam folders if you are not seeing this invitation). Please note that Google Classroom requires a Gmail address to access the Classroom. If you do not have a Gmail account, the email invitation will be sent to the email address we have on file and will prompt you to create a free account or enter an existing account to join the classroom. If we are unable to send an email invitation to your non-gmail account, you will be contacted by a staff member to provide a Gmail address. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can create a free account here. Should you have concerns about this, please contact a Loft staff member at or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.