LIVE! Spring 2024 class catalog now online! ūüĆ∑

The Things of the World

with Ellen Bass

Genres: Poetry


Open to all levels

1 Session

Start Date: November 19, 2023
End Date: November 19, 2023
Day of Week: Sunday
Time: 10:00am - 3:30pm PT
Capacity: 500 seats
Member Price: $135.00
General Price: $150.00

William Carlos Williams said, "No ideas but in things." We'll look at poems that turn their attention to the physical world. They may move from there into feelings and thoughts, but at their source is what Tony Hoagland calls "thingitude." Inspired by poems by Williams, Charles Simic, Dorianne Laux, Thomas Lux, Neruda, Natasha Trethewey, B. H. Fairchild, and Juan Ramón Jiménez, we'll write a poem that looks closely at a thing and explores where that leads us. Class includes 2.5-hour writing break.

Note: Due to the high demand and nature of the class content, we're excited to offer this class without a maximum capacity, opening up this class to more students than a typical Hugo House online class offering.

Registration dates: 

August 7: Scholarship Donation Day

August 8: Member registration opens at 10:30 am

August 15: General registration opens at 10:30 am

August 21: Last day of Early Bird pricing

Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass

Poet and educator Ellen Bass is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her most recent book of poetry, Indigo, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Previous books include Like a Beggar, a finalist for The Paterson Poetry Prize, The Publishers Triangle Award, The Milt Kessler Poetry Award, The Lambda Literary Award, and the Northern California Book Award; The Human Line; and Mules of Love, which won The Lambda Literary Award. Bass has also written works of nonfiction, including, with Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into twelve languages. The New Yorker has published ten of Bass’s poems throughout the years, and two have been chosen for The New Yorker podcast. In 2021, Bass was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry. She teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University and lives in Santa Cruz, California.

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.

Make a Donation

Donations made throughout the year help fund our programs and operations.