The Wonders of Distraction: A Poetry Workshop

Matthew Olzmann's picture
Matthew Olzmann
Week 9: August 4 to August 9
ORIENTATION: August 4, 6:00-7:30 PM
WORKSHOP: August 5-9, 9am-12pm
Discipline: Poetry
Open to All

On-site Housing Not Available
Workshop Description 

This workshop is part of our Poetry Festival.


This class will look at moments of distraction, digression, unexpected juxtapositions and idiosyncratic leaps of thought. We’ll examine the ways these shifts in focus can generate surprise and create resonant turns. For the highly distracted poet, this might be a class on how to harness that disarray into something workable. For the poet with a more disciplined attention span, this could be a session on how to bring a greater degree of flexibility and play into the writing. What was I talking about? Wait. I remember! This will be a generative class. We’ll write and workshop new poems.



Matthew Olzmann is the author of two collections of poems, Mezzanines (selected for the Kundiman Prize) and Contradictions in the Design, both from Alice James Books. A recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony, his writing has appeared in Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Brevity and elsewhere. He teaches at Dartmouth College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.