Online: Zoom

Say It Slant: In Search of the Startling Word

Saturday, April 1st from 10:30am-1:30pm (EST).
Online: Zoom
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
13 seats max

If one function of poems is to show us the familiar in a new way, then one crucial strategy is the deployment of the surprising word. An unexpected-but-perfect word in the right place can strike a reader with the force of a blow, staying with the reader a long time after.

This seminar will consider how to make and break patterns in diction through close reading of poets like Anne Carson, Natasha Trethewey, Brandon Som, and Michael Hofmann, as well as through exercises and prompts designed to encourage new perspectives on subjects. Students should bring a draft of a poem for revision; if time permits, a quick workshop session of these poems is possible.

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

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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Walter Smelt
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Previous Students Say

  • Generative
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  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
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  • Poetry

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