Strategies Of Astonishment With Matthew Olzmann

How does a poem surprise its readers? How does a shift in direction cause a poem to resonate in an evocative manner? How do we move beyond our initial subject matter to produce unexpected revelations? This workshop will look at how these effects are shaped through a series of deliberate craft choices. We’ll focus on how each line creates a set of expectations which following lines will intensify or overthrow. Poets should bring three poems of their own to work on. We’ll also write new poems over the week. The goal—whether revising poems or generating new work—will be to develop some new skills to sustain us after the workshop is over. We’ll startle ourselves as often as possible.