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

Writing Poetry During the Apocalypse (2-part)

No Longer Enrolling

  • $170.00 Non-Member
  • $150.00 Member

Class Description

Have you heard the news? It's awful. Sometimes it feels like we're living through a succession or cluster of apocalypses, staggered, overlapping, resonating, each moving at their own scale and speed, and also combining, networking, consolidating momentum and pace. The speed of viral contagion and the speed of viral marketing, the speed of wildfire, of greenhouse gas emission, of bullets, of deepfakes, of icemelt, of the founding of new fascist militias, of urban warfare, of Supreme Court decisions, of gentrification, of hypersonic railgun projectiles, of soil erosion, of the bioaccumulation of microplastics, of and of and on and on.

How do we wring meaning from these disasters?

We write it. This has always been the role of poetry: this lovely hubris at every end of the world; this urge to connect the bad (dis-) stars (aster) into constellations of human hope and human desire and human love. To find revelation in apocalypse. In this two-day, six-hour seminar, we will attempt to get poems from the news. On the first day, we'll read poems from Mosab Abu Toha, Noor Hindi, Kim Hyesoon, John Milton, Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Bishop, and Joy Harjo, alongside a series of linked generative prompts, to help us find poetic forms through which we can speak grief, devastation, fear, uncertainty, anxiety, and loss: little arks to carry us through the flood. On the second day, we'll workshop the poems that we produce. We aim to dismantle the “silent writer” model of workshop. Your voice is important; we’ll be centering your concerns and your intent in discussion.

Writers of all levels welcome.

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!