Do you ever feel like you’re trying to squeeze too much into a single poem? Or like a poem isn’t complete on its own? Or do you keep arriving at the same theme in a variety of drafts and fragments? If this sounds familiar, you might be ready to compose a poem sequence.
“Creating a poem sequence comes with a different set of challenges and possibilities than writing a single self-contained poem,” says instructor Erin Rodoni. “Sequences allow us to layer, to weave, to complicate, but they risk becoming redundant, or confusing. In this class, you will learn how to navigate this multi-faceted form so you can avoid the pitfalls and reap the rewards.”
This 6-week class will meet on the platform Wet Ink, which will allow Erin to provide detailed, specific feedback on your developing sequence as a whole, as well as on the individual lines of the poem. You will learn about different ways to structure a poem sequence by reading the work of poets such as Ilya Kaminsky, Danez Smith, Ann Carson, and Victoria Chang. Erin will also provide lessons and exercises to support your exploration and fuel your creative process.
This class does not have set meeting times. Throughout each week, you will set your own schedule for writing, reading, and interacting with your classmates on the discussion board. There will also be opportunities to read each other's poem sequences as they develop and to offer supportive responses.
By the end of the class, you will have received extensive instructor feedback on your poem sequence, as well as support from your peers. You will also come away with an understanding of how sequencing allows poems to interact with and build on each other, which can be applied when organizing chapbooks and full-length collections.
Erin Rodoni is the author of two poetry collections: Body, in Good Light (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017) and A Landscape for Loss (NFSPS Press, 2017), winner of the Stevens Award sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Her third poetry collection won the 2020 Southern Indiana Review Michael Waters Poetry Prize and was published in fall 2021. Her poems, stories, and reviews have been published in such places as Best New Poets, Poetry Northwest, World Literature Today, and Sixfold, among others. She has been the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a Ninth Letter Literary Award, and the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize. When not writing, she enjoys travel and spending time outdoors with her daughters.
There are no mandatory live class meetings from May 7 – June 18. This class gives students an opportunity to determine their own flexible work schedule.
Erin's supportive, attuned, and caring spirit paired with her dreamy creativity and intelligence created a space where I felt I could really step into my own creativity.
Erin was a thoughtful, generous, knowledgeable teacher who made sure everyone in class was respected.