Griffins, Harpies, and Jackalopes: Hybrid Poetics
"What grows in that place is possessed of a beauty all its own, ramshackle and unexpected.”
- Campbell McGrath, “The Prose Poem”
Poetry’s history is one of change, of expansion in and out of new forms, purposes, contexts. It wasn’t too long ago that it broke the binds of meter to create vers libre and to mate with prose, and recent years have brought both greater acceptance of hybrid forms like the prose poem and verse novel, as well as the proliferation of new genres like digital and video poetry and text art.
In this weeklong generative workshop, we’ll challenge ourselves to push against genre boundaries. We’ll explore hybrid forms such as the prose poem and verse essay, experiment with how poetry can include visual elements such as images, collage, and typographic shapes, and gain inspiration from burgeoning genres like videopoetry and “poetry comics.” However, while we’ll look at and discuss examples along the way, the goal will be not only to practice writing in existing hybrid forms, but also to surprise ourselves by what glorious new beasts might emerge from the forge.
Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of Best Bones (2014), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and Darwin’s Mother (2017), both from University of Pittsburgh Press. Among her awards are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. Her poems and essays appear widely in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review, and she creates intergenre video and text art in collaboration with Kathleen Kelley under the name Smart Snow. Nordgren is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati and an Associate Editor at 32 Poems.