Entering the Next Room of the Poem

Open Seats


Regular $250.00
Member $225.00
1 p.m.-3 p.m. CDT
Open to All Levels
Online—Live Meeting
Number of Sessions
Day of the Week
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week-Long (Youth or Intensive)
Poetry Graphic

Developing poets tend to stop too soon, bringing their poems to a resonant but hasty close before they’ve really explored the impulse of the poem fully, and looked at the way diction, figurative speech, syntax and tone can lead torward a deeper understanding of the poem they’re writing. It's not that we need to write longer poems, but that we need to spend time exploring the closets or secret passageways in your poem, or looking under the floorboards to see what might be down there. We will view our drafts as quests for knowledge as we try to learn what the poem we're writing IS.

Students will share up to five pages in an online environment and have one week to read and discuss each other's work, with feedback from Mark Doty, culminating in a two-hour live meeting where Mark Doty will discuss your work.

We will talk about the poem in the traditional ways, trying to articulate what the poem’s trying to do, pointing to what succeeds and what might be stronger. But we will also read with a spirit of inquiry, looking for what opportunities for discovery the poem offers, what door to open next.

The class will post their work to an online group on May 25 and read and respond to one another's work through the week. There is a live 2-hour meeting on May 31 from 1–3 p.m.