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This workshop digs into a selection from Patricia Smith’s Incendiary Art, feasting on her rhythmic forms and mechanics of music. By tuning our ears to her practice, we will interrogate our own notions about formal poetry’s pliancy and power. We will generate new poems through a series of guided prompts that experiment with the pleasure and possibility of repetition and rhythm. These prompts foreground sound and highlight the musicality of terza rima and alliterative verse.
Native of Gainesville, Florida, Natalie J. Graham earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida. She completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. Her first, full-length poetry collection, Begin with a Failed Body (University of Georgia Press, 2017), was chosen by Kwame Dawes for the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. This collection is rooted in the landscape of the U.S. South and centers on the body as a site for retelling stories to reveal persistent, complex humanity. Her poems and articles have been published in Callaloo, New England Review, Valley Voices: A Literary Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Journal of Popular Culture, Transition, and Phylon. Her research interests include Hip Hop Culture, Food Culture, and Identity Performance. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and currently associate professor of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Find her online @NatalieJoGraham or nataliejgraham.com.