LIVE! Spring 2024 class catalog now online! 🌷

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
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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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.

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