Crafting the Contemporary Pastoral Poem
All Levels | How can the contemporary writer craft poems in the pastoral tradition without ignoring our increasingly complicated relationship with our planet? In this workshop, we’ll investigate how diction, syntax, sensory description, and other craft elements work in concert to create an interplay between what poets Eavan Boland and Mark Strand refer to as pastoral poetry’s unique mix of “sweet dream” and “rude awakening.” We’ll also generate new material with the goal of both responding to and revising the pastoral tradition.
Dilruba Ahmed is the author of Bring Now the Angels (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020). Her debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press), won the Bakeless Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Her poems have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2019 (Scribner), Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books), Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s), Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas), and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.
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