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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Fingerprints and the Adaptability of Forms: Structure and Syntax in Poetry

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

In poetry everything is permitted.
With only this condition of course,
You have to improve on the blank page.

— Nicanor Parra

It’s the poet’s obligation to (at least partially) fill the blank page. But like Parra says, we must also improve upon it. This can be an imposing task. Structure and syntax are like fingerprints, they’re unique to each writer. We can read an unattributed line by Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson and immediately recognize the identity of the author. In those course, we’ll consider how structure and syntax help your writing stand out as idiomatic. We’ll do so by reading poems in fixed, free, and experimental forms. We’ll also workshop several of your pieces while focusing on improving their structural qualities. Our reading for the class includes: Tommy Pico, Emily Dickinson, Diane Seuss, Eileen Myles, Walt Whitman, Heather McHugh, and Robert Pinsky.

Other classes in this series:

Scholarships Format/Location

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

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!