This one-week intensive invites both poets and prose writers to consider more closely the power of pushing out the boundaries of the English sentence. Reading, across genres, sentences by masters of the ecstatic–James Agee, Gwendolyn Brooks, Cormac McCarthy, Emily Dickinson, Ross Gay, Halldór Laxness, Melville, Toni Morrison, Nabokov, Gerald Stern, C.K. Williams, Joy Williams–we will combine linguistic and creative craft study, learning to perform grammatical analysis for the sake of better serving the imagination. We will also “practice our scales,” daily drafting, redrafting, and workshopping our own sentences as we learn to experiment with the expectations established by syntax. Our week will culminate in one-on-one video call conferences.
Rebecca Gayle Howell's most recent book is American Purgatory, which was selected by Don Share for the 2016 Sexton Prize and named a must-read collection by both The Millions and the Courier-Journal. Howell's honors include fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a Pushcart Prize. Since 2014, she has edited poetry for the Oxford American.