New Class!

6 Weeks, 6 Poems: Poetic Lineage

6 weeks online; no live meetings. Class opens on April 15th.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
This class is full

Are you ready to experiment with new forms of poetry, but aren’t sure quite where to begin? Or, do you simply have too many ideas to commit to just one of them? Whatever the case, if you want to produce new work, this class is for you! Over six weeks, we’ll explore six different poetry prompts to inspire your writing and expand your understanding of what a poem can be, and how poems persist across time.

For this course, we’ll be using the lens of poetic lineage to encourage students to see themselves as a part of the ongoing conversation poems create—a dialogue that transcends space and time. We’ll read poems across periods, continents, and forms to engage with specific themes and approaches to writing. Each week, students will be introduced to a new poetic lineage. Our reading will cover such themes as loss, food, sports, and celebration to inspire your work, and access the craft behind the week’s readings.

We’ll study concrete examples of these lineages, extending from a variety of poets, such as Frank O’Hara, Jill McDonough, Natalie Diaz, Marcus Jackson, James Wright, Kevin Young, Li-Young Lee, Elizabeth Bishop, Nick Flynn, and Andrea Cohen, among others, to see what new meanings arise when we put these poems in conversation with one another. Then, we’ll practice what we learn by generating a poem every week as a continuation of that lineage––whether the poem is in response to one of those we read, an attempt to further a conversation raised by one of the readings, or even borrowing a line from one of those pieces as a jumping off point for our own work. We’ll also read and discuss each other's drafts on a weekly basis, offering questions and feedback to help each writer identify their strengths, and possible opportunities for development in their weekly writing.

You will leave the course with six fresh drafts of six poems and the insight, inspiration, and knowledge of craft to continue developing them.

*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class. 

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Derek JG Williams
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Great for Newbies"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • Poetry

Commitment Level



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