Revive Your Work With These Fall Poetry Workshops

The changing of the weather and stores full of school supplies may be making you nostalgic for back-to-school season. Whether you’re currently a student or not, fall marks an invitation to lean into new lessons, expand your mind, and seek out expertise. So grab your notebook and hunker down somewhere with WiFi—all you need to be a part of these exciting and stimulating virtual classrooms is Internet connection, curiosity, and imagination. 


1. The Art of Breath: Writing Love Poems 

Sept. 19–Oct. 24, Tuesdays 6 p.m.–8 p.m. CST


Love is one of the most universal and timeless themes in the poetry genre, but making the subject matter feel new and interesting can be a challenge. In this workshop from the Loft Literary Center, one of the largest and most established literary centers in the country, poet Sonya Lara will help students push past cliché and find complexity. Lara—whose poems have appeared in The Pinch, Ninth Letter, and AGNI—has experience teaching at Virginia Tech University, home to one of the nation’s leading MFA programs


2. Demystifying Poetry: Reading and Writing Poems

Sept. 20–Oct. 25, Wednesdays 6 p.m.–8 p.m. CST


It’s no secret that poetry can have a high barrier to entry. Oftentimes, the genre can seem serious and deliberately obscure—a reputation that poet Jennifer Manthey pushes back against in this workshop, another online offering from the Loft. The Demystifying Poetry: Reading and Writing Poems workshop is all about making poetry approachable, fun, and pleasurable. Students will read works from some of the best and most inventive poets writing today, including Ross Gay and Ada Limón. You’ll also generate your own poetry in this class through discussion and a variety of low-pressure prompts


3. Metaverses & Metaphors: Poetry & Science

Sept. 26–Oct. 24, Tuesdays 6:30–9:30 p.m. EST


At its best, poetry is interdisciplinary. Learning about different topics can give poets new vocabularies, metaphors, and pieces of imagery to use within their work—whether these topics span science, visual art, athletics, or any other subject matter. Rosebud Ben-Oni, who won the Alice James Award for her physics-inspired collection If This Is the Age We End Discovery, embodies this perspective within her writing. This workshop from Brooklyn Poets considers poetry as a “lyrical technology,” drawing on dialogue about aliens, artificial intelligence, and other timely issues to create work that’s truly experimental. 


4. Petitioning the Particular: A Chapbook Workshop

Oct. 8–Nov. 19, Sundays 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. EST

Even if you have a pile of polished poems, organizing them into a chapbook can be difficult and overwhelming. Developing a chapbook manuscript involves searching for common themes, ordering your poems, deciding on a title, and so many other steps. This workshop with Dawn Lonsinger, author of Whelm, which won the Idaho Prize in Poetry, will guide you in how to conceptualize and refine a collection. You’ll also hear tips on where to submit your chapbook once you feel it’s ready for publication. 


Happy workshopping!