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Raising the Stakes — Maximizing Rhetorical Devices in Poetry with Sarah Blake

Jan 27, 2018 | 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Sarah Blake

In workshops, we sometimes talk about how a poem needs to raise its stakes, but what does that mean? Stakes can be as simple as what’s literally at stake for a speaker in the poem’s story—maybe their marriage or even their life is at risk. But often the tricky part is making the reader invest in the poem’s outcome, getting the reader to care and feel that the poem is exploring something important. In this workshop, we will look at how poems engage their readers and make their readers care. We’ll do close readings of poems by C.D. Wright, Shane McCrae, Catie Rosemurgy, Angel Nafis, and others to help us generate ideas. We’ll also write new poems of our own. Feel free to bring in poems-in-progress that you might revise as we discuss concrete strategies for making our poems matter to our readers.

Sarah Blake is the author of two poetry collections, Let’s Not Live on Earth and Mr. West, both from Wesleyan University Press. An illustrated workbook accompanies her chapbook, Named After Death (Banango Editions). In 2013, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her debut novel, Naamah, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books. She lives outside of Philadelphia.

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Admission $95 Location Stanley Kunitz Conference Room Sponsored By Poets House


Jan 27, 2018
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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