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Yearlong in Poetry: A Study of Form

with Dilruba Ahmed

Genres: Poetry


Open to all levels

30 Sessions

Start Date: September 27, 2023
End Date: May 29, 2024
No Class: (skip days) 10/25/2023, 11/22/2023, 12/27/23, 1/3/2024, 3/27/2024, 4/24/2024
Day of Week: Wednesday
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PT
Capacity: 17 seats
1 seat left!
Member Price: $1341.00
General Price: $1490.00

In this yearlong course, we'll focus on various poetic forms with specific craft constraints and/or thematic traditions. Within a community providing support and accountability, you’ll generate new material toward personalized deadlines. The class's longer format offers a unique opportunity to develop a larger body of work (e.g., linked sequence, draft chapbook, or full-length collection). Through workshop sessions, you'll sharpen your editorial skills as you provide and receive constructive feedback. Workshop experience required. Two guest speakers will join us to share their experiences of working within formal traditions.

Payment plans are available for this class. Please email to get a payment plan started.

Guest speakers: TBD—published poets with a first or second book who are also likely teachers of poetry.

Syllabus: Available by request. Please email

No class dates: 10/25/2023, 11/22/2023, 12/27/23, 1/3/2024, 3/27/2024, 4/24/2024

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



Who is this class best suited for? How much writing experience do I need to take this class?

This class is well suited for any student interested in a sustained study of poetic form. Students who typically write free verse will find their poetry is strengthened by learning more about the intersection of craft and content across poetic traditions. Participants should have past experience with providing constructive feedback on peer work (at least one workshop).

What will I learn over the course of this yearlong?

Through weekly readings, class discussions, and prompts, students will learn how to “read like a writer,” with a focus on poetic forms that have specific craft constraints and/or thematic traditions, Students will also learn how to provide constructive feedback on peer work while also getting periodic feedback on their own draft poems.

What's the balance of in-class generative writing, lecture, and workshop?

Using guiding questions specific to weekly readings, our class will devote the first hour of class to unpacking key aspects of the relationship between form and content. Classes are discussion-based with the expectation of student participant in small groups and whole class conversations. Workshop will take place weekly during the second hour of class, with a rotating schedule. In-class writing will be limited; however, students will receive weekly prompts inspired by class readings.

How much time outside of class will I need for this class each week?

Students should plan to spend about 60-90 minutes combined on class readings and peer comments for workshop. Time spent on weekly writing prompts varies.

How much feedback will I receive on my work, peer, or instructor?

We’ll focus more on “process” than “product” in this class; as such, this yearlong class provides a rich & supportive environment for growth, exploration, and experimentation with key craft strategies and poetic structures. Students will receive brief written comments from peers after each workshop turn. Instructor will provide verbal feedback during each workshop turn.

Who will we be reading?

Our reading list of poetic forms will focus largely on contemporary poets working within (and reinventing) traditional poetic forms, with acknowledgement of literary ancestors. Weekly readings will include a range of aesthetic approaches, with thought and care given to diverse representation. Readings will include work by (but not limited to) poets such as Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ellen Bass, Ross Gay, Rick Barot, Safia Elhillo, torrin a. greathouse, Natasha Tretheway, Heather McHugh, Jericho Brown, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, and many, many others….

Dilruba Ahmed

Dilruba Ahmed


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.


Instagram: dilruba_ahmed20,

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Each class description includes a breakdown of what you can expect in terms of in-class activity, feedback, and homework (if any). 

Generative means you’ll be generating new writing, either in class or at home between classes.

Workshop means you’ll be sharing work to be read and critiqued by your instructor and classmates and that you will also be critiquing the work of your peers. 

Reading means you’ll be doing close reading of a work with an eye toward craft. 

Craft discussion means you’ll be looking at the tools writers use to do that thing they do so well and then trying it out yourself.

Class levels are designed for various stages of the writing journey. Simply self-select the level that sounds best for where you’re at. 

Introductory: This is your first creative writing workshop, first writing class since high school, or first foray into a new genre or form. You’re looking to try something new, kickstart your writing, and/or establish yourself in the fundamentals.

Intermediate: You have a strong understanding of writing fundamentals and are eager to deep dive into craft. You’re honing your writerly identity and voice through independent projects. In workshop, you look for constructive feedback and are ready to do writing and reading outside of class.

Advanced: You’ve written a significant body of work and have taken it through several stages of revision. You’re getting ready to publish or are in the early stage of publishing, and you’re interested in refining the skills that will take you to the next level in the literary industry.

All Levels: You are any of the above and are looking to play with new possibilities.

You’ll get your class information, including Zoom link if applicable, three days before the first day of class.

Write With Hugo House is our free monthly write-in program, operated in partnership with the Seattle Public Library. Two take place onsite at SPL locations, one takes place online. 

Sliding-scale classes are offered every quarter. Find them in our Class Catalog.

We announce flash sales, early bird periods, and special deals through our e-newsletter; sign up at the bottom of this page.

At this time, we offer payment plans on classes 8 sessions and up. Email with the name of the class you’re interested in to set up a payment plan.

Asynchronous classes are perfect for students that need flexibility!

During an asynchronous class, instructors release new lessons once per week. Students then have one week to complete that lesson and any accompanying coursework. You’ll learn as much as you would in a traditional class but with the flexibility to work at the best times for your schedule!

While there are no live sessions, asynchronous classes are still a lively and rigorous experience. Async classes are not static lessons but an adaptable and energetic community space. Be ready to work in a collaborative environment, giving and receiving feedback on your writing, participating in discussions, and growing your writing practice in a way that works best for you.

Asynchronous classes take place through the website Wet Ink. Students receive an invitation to the class and to set up a Wet Ink account on the start date of the class. Each week of the class, a new lesson will be available through the Wet Ink portal. Classes close two weeks after the end date, and students receive an email containing their content from the class when it closes.

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.

In general, we do not record classes. However, an exception if a student has specific access needs.

We encourage students to only sign up for classes that fit with their schedule.   

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.

If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.

Hugo House members get to register early for classes – a full week before they open to the general public!, receive a 10% discount on events and classes, and more. See the full list of membership benefits here!

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If you’re interested in contributing your skills, Hugo House accepts volunteer applications for a variety of roles, including event support, administrative tasks, and more. Learn more on our Volunteer page.

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