Writing Poems that Don't Fit
In her four-week workshop, Daisy Fried will guide you as you formulate what your poems want to be and how you fit into your work. With a goal of helping you clarify your themes and focusing on your own voice, this workshop is designed to teach you new ways to generate poems that truly reflect your individual style.
Does it sometimes seem as if the poetry world is divided into camps determined to prove that the other camps have nothing to offer? And where do you fit in? This workshop recognizes that the best poetry often doesn’t fit into any stylistic mode, and uses what techniques it needs as it finds them. You’ll generate new poems and revise your work for supportive, frank, detailed critique by the instructor and group, and you’ll read and discuss relevant work by modern and contemporary poets, starting with the A-List--Alice Oswald, Anne Winters, Anne Carson and Ange Mlinko--with the goal of failing, wonderfully, to fit in. In place of traditional formal prompts, we’ll consider—in magpie spirit, and in hopes of embracing confusion as a way to work towards clarity—strategic, formal and thematic questions designed to provide focus but leave most choices up to you. And while we will likely make plenty of suggestions for specific edits as you revise, the most important revision questions will be: “Who are you? Who do you want to be? What do you want your poems to be?” Poets at any level who find these questions engaging are welcome.
Daisy Fried is poetry editor of the literary resistance journal Scoundrel Time, and author of three books of poems: Women's Poetry: Poems and Advice, named one of the five best poetry books of 2013 by Library Journal, My Brother is Getting Arrested Again, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and She Didn’t Mean to Do It, which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. She reviews poetry books for the New York Times, Poetry, Threepenny Review and elsewhere, and received Poetry magazine’s Editor’s Prize for a Feature Article for “Sing God-Awful Muse,” an essay about reading Paradise Lost and breastfeeding. For her poetry, she's received Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellowship, as well as a Pushcart Prize and the Cohen Award from Ploughshares. Her poems have appeared in London Review of Books, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, American Poetry Review, Poetry International, Threepenny Review, Best American Poetry and elsewhere. She lives in South Philadelphia and is on the faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.