Does formal writing seem dated and unfashionable? Perhaps a literary makeover is in order. This generative one-week workshop will look at contemporary approaches to writing in poetic form. We’ll focus on traditional forms (ghazal, pantoum, sestina, sonnet, and villanelle) while brushing the dust off them to find “remixed” ways of approaching formal constraints. We’ll examine the history/parameters of each form, read contemporary examples, and find ways to co-opt, subvert, and reinvent these old forms. Ultimately, we’ll investigate how self-imposed formal constraints lead us into unexpected places in our writing. Commitment load: one new poem generated each day.
Following the class, each student will receive a detailed email about their work, with ideas about moving forward.
Angelo Nikolopoulos is the author of Obscenely Yours, winner of the 2011 Kinereth Gensler Award (Alice James Books 2013) and a winner of the 2011 "Discovery" Boston Review Poetry Contest. His poems have appeared in The AWL, Best American Poetry 2012 (edited by Mark Doty), Best New Poets 2011 (edited by D.A. Powell), Boston Review, The Collagist, Fence, Gay & Lesbian Review, The Los Angeles Review, The New York Quarterly, Tin House, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, and Jerome Foundation. He teaches creative writing at New York University and Rutgers University, New Brunswick.