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Taking a Turn: What Happens When a Poem Shifts? [Sierra Nelson]

The sonnet contains a volta: a characteristic turn in its middle where the poem’s argument noticeably shifts. But is it possible every poem, whether free or formal verse, contains a volta of some kind? What power do these turns have on us as readers, and how can we harness that as writers? We’ll look at an eclectic array of poems for inspiration and create a portfolio of new work with in-class writing prompts, using literary tools such as point of view, tone, epiphany, and structure, as well as more experimental approaches. All levels welcome.