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Workshop Descriptions & Instructors


Michael Morse

Michael Morse

Sing and Praise and Bitch and Moan: Psalms, Ancient and Modern
Weekend Workshop June 16-17

Poetry for Beginners—Contemplation, Play, and Discovery
One-Week Workshop June 17-22

Lost And Found: Reading and Writing the Elegy
Weekend Workshop June 23-24

Biography

Sing and Praise and Bitch and Moan: Psalms, Ancient and Modern
Weekend Workshop June 16-17

Poems embody a range of contrary feelings as they thoughtfully express what it’s like to be alive. Involving both clear sight and confusion, the Psalms are a particularly rich form of utterance—they’re able to bear both joys and burdens and channel them into song. With beauty, grace, and grit, psalms explore our yearning for connection and sustenance in landscapes of emotional turbulence. In this workshop, we’ll explore the innocence, faith, doubt, loneliness, anger, joy, and wonder that reveal themselves in Biblical poems and explore contemporary versions, too—all with the goal of reading as writers. We’ll use the poems to generate new work of our own. This workshop will focus more on the emotional and structural essence of the form, embracing its spirit rather than emphasizing theological concerns. Come and wrestle with a few angels as we read and create poems off of models that will take us from B.C. through the 21st Century.

Poetry for Beginners—Contemplation, Play, and Discovery
One-Week Workshop June 17-22

A weeklong feast of poetry, with three delightful (and far from square) meals each day.
Each class will have one session each of contemplation (we’ll begin by contemplating poems both loveable and unfamiliar, with styles ranging from fractured lyrics to more coherent narratives), play (we’ll engage in serious yet playful exercises and prompts to generate new work, avoiding any set destinations as we learn to love the liberating experience of getting lost), and discovery (we’ll share initial drafts and revise them into polished and even surprising pieces). This workshop for beginning and budding poets will explore a series of challenging yet accessible building blocks that will better allow us to approach, access, and then generate poems. Expect daily in-class writing exercises, optional take home assignments, readings from our class packet of poems, and supportive group discussions of the work you generate.

Lost And Found: Reading and Writing the Elegy
Weekend Workshop June 23-24

The elegy offers one of poetry’s most appealing consolations: it can transform loss—and even the threat of loss—into an artful presence. Our sessions will explore how reading and elegiac writing can help us reflect on the lives we’ve led (and will lead) as we navigate absence. Expect a moving and invigorating workshop—one that isn’t afraid to laugh, either—as we write poems together and read a wide range of classic and contemporary poetic voices as models. You needn’t have ever written a poem before; we’ll focus on work generated in our sessions together.

Biography

Michael Morse teaches at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York and has taught at The University of Iowa, the City University of New York, and The New School University. Michael has published poems in various journals, including A Public Space, Field, The Iowa Review, The Literary Review, Ploughshares, and Tin House—and in the anthologies Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn (New York University Press, 2007) and Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days (University of Iowa Press, 2010). Honors include fellowships at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Yaddo, the Millay Colony, the Ucross Foundation, Ledig House, Vermont Studio Center, and the Willard Espy Literary Foundation. He received his M.F.A. in Poetry from The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

 

 

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Sponsored by the Division of Continuing Education
Iowa Summer Writing Festival
C215 Seashore Hall
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone 319-335-4160
FAX 319-335-4743
iswfestival@uiowa.edu

Last updated on November 14, 2012