There’s a long tradition of poets (and prose writers too) borrowing forms from other disciplines as containers for their content. In the late 1990s, Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola coined the term “hermit crab writing,” assigning a memorable metaphor to adopted-forms literature. Just as the hermit crab survives by occupying abandoned shells it finds on the beach, writers can rely on extant “shells” like dictionary entries, instruction manuals, rejection letters, tarot card readings, and many more to carry their content to a wider readership. This workshop will explore the possibilities of hermit crab writing with compelling examples and opportunities to write in response.
Julie Marie Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami. She has published 10 collections of poetry and prose, most recently Same-Sexy Marriage: A Novella in Poems and The Unrhymables: Collaborations in Prose, co-authored with Denise Duhamel. A recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir and grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Wade reviews regularly for Lambda Literary Review and The Rumpus.