What often keeps our competent poems from becoming captivating ones is a fear of failure, an instinctual aversion to risk. In this class, we’ll work at unlearning this impulse, priming ourselves to jump headlong into what we’ve previously side-stepped. We’ll look at poems that risk embarrassment, shame, and censure and create our own pieces that just may not work, all as a way to open ourselves up to the possibilities that failure can reveal. We will fall on our faces, and it will be glorious.
Erin Adair-Hodges is the author of Let’s All Die Happy, winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and published in 2017 as part of the Pitt Poetry Series. A Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholar in Poetry, Sewanee-Claudia Emerson scholar, and winner of the 2014 Loraine Williams Prize from The Georgia Review, her work can be seen in journals such Kenyon Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner and more. An educator at all levels for nearly twenty years, she is currently a visiting professor of creative writing at the University of Toledo and co-curates the Bad Mouth Reading Series in her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.