Leaps and Swerves: Creating Surprise in Poetry
All Levels | Let’s explore unexpected moves in poems: syntactical disruptions, tonal shifts, leaps that move associatively down the page. In this workshop, expect in-class writing prompts that invite a sense of wildness and surprise to our creative work. We’ll study poems by poets such as Brenda Shaughnessy, Natasha Trethewey, Lawson Fusao Inada, and others. We’ll investigate how poets use various craft strategies to create an interplay between stabilizing and destabilizing forces while engaging the reader in a journey of discovery.
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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