Writing into the Other: The Art of Persona Poetry
Intermediate | In this class, we will analyze, write, and discuss diverse pieces of persona poetry. Students will be introduced to works by prominent poets, generate their own poems, and workshop each other’s poems on the spot. We will navigate discussions such as cultural appropriation, craft in terms of persona, and more. Students can expect to leave this class with a collection of poems that they can submit or incorporate into a larger project.
Mel Ruth is a poet, a professor, a mentor, and a student.
Mel is currently a PhD candidate at Georgia State University where they major in Creative Writing with a Concentration in Poetry. Mel obtained their MFA from University of Central Arkansas, and their BFA from Salisbury University.
Mel has numerous years of teaching experience, in including, but not limited to, First Year Writing, Dual College Enrollment Composition, Introduction to Creative Writing, Forms & Theory of Poetry, and American Literature.
Mel’s chapbook, “A Name Among Bone,” was selected as the winner of the 2021 Cow Creek Chapbook prize, and is forthcoming from Emerald City Press in early 2022. Their chapbook was also listed as a semi-finalist in the Spring 2020 Black River Chapbook Contest through Black Lawrence Press.
Mel was the 2018-2019 Oxford American Magazine Editorial Assistant Fellow, and their work has been selected as a finalist for the Slice Literary’s Bridging the Gap Award.
Mel has poems featured in, in forthcoming from, Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Emerson Review, Red Earth Review, Sierra Nevada Review and more. Their reviews have been featured in Pleiades, New Pages, Entropy, and The Rumpus.
On top of being a poet, Mel is also seeking representation for their LGBTQ+ Young Adult Novel, “Good Intentions.”