What You Know of the World is Wrong: Expectation & Surprise

Matthew Olzmann's picture
Matthew Olzmann
Week 9: August 2 to August 7
ORIENTATION: August 2, 6:00-7:30 PM
WORKSHOP: August 3-7, 9am-12pm
Discipline: Poetry
Open to All

On-site Housing Not Available
Workshop Description 

This workshop is part of the POETRY FESTIVAL


Robert Frost famously wrote, “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” That sounds great, but how exactly is "surprising" work actually created. This generative class will focus on how writers consciously shape a sense of expectations for the reader, expectations which might later be intensified or overthrown. We'll write and workshop new poems throughout the week, and we’ll leave the session with several poems and a handful of new skills that can sustain us.



Matthew Olzmann is the author of two collections of poems, Mezzanines, which was selected for the 2011 Kundiman Prize, and Contradictions in the Design, both from Alice James Books. His third book, Constellation Route, is forthcoming in January 2022.  He’s received fellowships from Kundiman, the Kresge Arts Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Necessary Fiction, Brevity, among others.