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Applying to prizes and various other opportunities is often a necessary part of a writer’s life—and seemingly ubiquitous among these applications is the “please discuss your work” statement or introduction. How can we articulate our guiding forces in a way that is fresh, earnest, and illuminating, not to mention “successful” in the end? Can we speak on our work in a way that raises both social and imaginative consciousnesses? We’ll do some generative writing to explore this, before turning to examples of authors (eg: James Tate, Lyn Hejinian) speaking enlighteningly about their writing. More practical issues of application prep will also be covered, and students are invited to bring specific questions.
Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (CSU Poetry Center, 2013) and the recipient of a 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches writing at CUNY.