Expand Your Language

with Kaveh Bassiri

Genres: Poetry


Introductory, Intermediate

2 Sessions

Start Date: March 20, 2024
End Date: March 21, 2024
Day of Week: Wednesday, Thursday
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PT
Capacity: 15 seats
1 seat left!
Member Price: $118.80
General Price: $132.00

Each of us carries a vocabulary that shapes the way we see the world. But sometimes we limit our writing to what we consider "poetic" language. How can we bring the words we already know into our poems? How can we expand our poetry with the specialized languages that surround us? In this two-day class, we begin by looking at what other poets have done, including the work of Lucille Clifton, Philip Levine, Solmaz Sharif, and Jos Charles. On the second day, participants will write or revise their own poems through a series of exercises in which we try to animate our work with new and distinct verbs and nouns. Everyone will have an opportunity to share their results.


  • This class includes:
    • Craft Discussion: teachers and students explore essential elements of the craft.
    • Generative Writing: students create new work during class or from assignments.
    • Reading: class engages in close study of one or more works.
  • Feedback in class: Both peer and instructor feedback given.
  • Work outside of class: Optional writing or reading outside of class.


  • December 4: Scholarship Donation Day 
  • December 5: Member registration opens at 10:30 am PT 
  • December 12: General registration opens at 10:30 am PT 
  • December 18: Last day of Early Bird pricing
Kaveh Bassiri

Kaveh Bassiri


Kaveh Bassiri is a writer and translator. He is the author of 99 Names of Exile, winner of the Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and Elementary English, winner of the Rick Campbell Chapbook Prize. His poems have been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2020, Best New Poets 2020, The Heart of a Stranger, and Somewhere We Are Human. Bassiri is the recipient of the 2022 & 2023 Tulsa Artist Fellowship and a 2019 translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Arkansas and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. He teaches creative writing at the University of Tulsa.

Website: kavehbassiri.com

Most classes are offered at a general and member tuition rates based on instruction hours, with Hugo House members receiving a 10% discount on classes fewer than six sessions.

Early bird discounts are available during the first two weeks of registration and apply to both general and member tuition rates.

To help provide financial accessibility to our class offerings, some classes each quarter are offered with a sliding-scale tuition model, allowing students to pay what they can for the class. For these classes, tuition increments starting at $5 and going up to 125% of the standard pricing will be listed on the page.

Hugo House will only process refund requests that are submitted 5 business days or more before the class start date. To request a refund, log in to your account, go to “My Account,” select the “Orders” tab on the left-hand side, click the appropriate order, and request a refund for your specific class. Administrative fees apply. Please see our full refund policy here.

Class sessions may be recorded if a session falls on a holiday, or if a student has access needs. Class recordings are not guaranteed.

We do not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic or any other oppressive behaviors, regardless of who commits them. Please check out our full community guidelines by clicking here. If an instance of community guidelines are violated and not resolved within the classroom, students may let us know by filling out the student incident report.

Classes may be cancelled if less than the minimum number of students are enrolled within ten days before the class start date. If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, students can choose between receiving a full credit toward future classes or full refund.

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