Poetry | Workshop

6-Week Poetry Workshop: An Introduction to Poetry

While writing poetry is often seen as a solitary enterprise, what can we learn about how to write poems and how to speak about poetry from our fellow writers?

In this generative workshop—intended for beginners as much as for those with a regular writing practice—we will create a range of new work by finding inspiration from our own lives and, though conversation and critique, from working with those who write alongside us. We will examine our passions, where we come from, and how place and history inform our work. In this supportive, creative space we will ask ourselves those questions we have not yet dared to ask.

Over the course of six weeks, we will read the work of established poets, write our own pieces, and create and share work in progress. By way of introduction, you will be asked to bring in a poem you’ve written or one that you love. You’ll create new work both in class and independent of it, with the aim of workshopping 2 poems by class’s end.

Close readings of poems both formal and innovative will be a critical component of the class. Using primary texts as the basis for our own writing, we will discuss the stylistic elements that make each writer distinctive and further explore these elements in frequent short writing exercises. You’ll leave this course with new poems in hand and the confidence to write the poems only you can.

*No Class November 28th

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

-Develop a variety of exercises and approaches for creating and sharing new work

-Develop a critical vocabulary and participate in thoughtful, constructive workshops of each other’s poems and respond to critiques of their own work with attentive, imaginative revisions

-Leave with 10 drafts of new poems and 2 workshopped pieces

-Gain a better understanding of how to sustain and grow your writing practice

-Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

Most work will be in-class, with some reading and revising outside in preparation for workshop.

Reading and responding to select work from the poetry packet distributed at the start of the course

Offering thoughtful and respectful in-class responses to the work of your fellow writers

Being open to the creation of new work and to assigned in-class writing prompts and exercises

When comfortable, sharing work created during in-class writing exercises 

KC Trommer

KC Trommer is the author of We Call Them Beautiful  (Diode Editions, 2019) and The Hasp Tongue (dancing girl press, 2014). A graduate of the MFA program at The University of Michigan, KC has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her poems and essays have appeared in AGNI, The Antioch Review, Blackbird, The Common, LitHub, and Prairie Schooner. She is the founder of the online audio project, QUEENSBOUND, and lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with her son. 

Testimonials

“KC is incisive, constructive, and inspirational.”

former student

“KC Trommer is a vibrant and insightful poetry-writing teacher. In fact, she helps resuscitate the poetry workshop model from its tired, academic slice-and-dice fest to a more open-ended and inspiring inquiry. Be prepared for a hearty and heartening mix of humor, encouragement and serious-minded devotion to your poems.”

former student

"To be “broken and mended, broken and mended,” the poet, KC Trommer, writes for all of us, as she fearlessly and poetically confronts the corrosion—and tender maternity—of love’s scarred and unfathomable existence."

Emily Fragos, author of ST. TORCH

“I highly recommend KC’s workshop. The small class size ensures ample time for each person and each poem. KC is full of energy and keeps the class moving, whether we’re looking at our own work, trying a writing exercise, or examining the work of an established poet.”

former student

"Rejoice all lovers of the word for the generous, gorgeous, and timely gathering that is KC Trommer's WE CALL THEM BEAUTIFUL. The world needs these poems right now for they are fostered alike by Beauty and by Dread and they do what only real poems can: they leave us changed. We come away from reading them somehow feeling like the recipients of a benediction that makes us more merciful, more tender towards the world, towards ourselves."

Lorna Goodison, Poet Laureate of Jamaica

"KC Trommer’s brave debut explores the power in doing: seeing, naming. touching, marveling, grieving. Some of the most heart-wrenching poems in WE CALL THEM BEAUTIFUL explore divorce—the rage, alienation, and disappointment. As Trommer writes, "Now is a matter of thinking of what tense/ I choose to know you in.” As these poems wisely suggest, past, present, and future are all imperfect, but there is a hopeful courage in the voice: "Wherever I go, I am this woman." This woman—this poet—is a force."

Maggie Smith, author of GOOD BONES