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The Art of Concealing and Revealing in Poetry with Neil Shepard

Feb 20, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


This class is full! Check out our other six-week winter poetry workshops with Rosebud Ben-Oni and Michael Broder.


Six Wednesdays, February 20–April 3 (skipping March 27)

The great-grandparents of American poetry, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, gave us conflicting advice about poetic style. Dickinson told us to “tell it slant” (“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant”), while Whitman advised us (more or less) to tell it straight, with great candor, gusto, and narrative verve. American poets have been navigating between those two positions ever since. Of course, whether we choose a poetry of concealment or revelation, we must learn to employ all of the elements of craft in order to achieve our magic effects: from imagery and metaphor, to sound and cadence, to tone and rhetoric. We will study sample poems from Dickinson and Whitman, as well as from contemporary poets such as Mark Doty, Marie Howe, Ellen Bass, Rigoberto González, Hayden Carruth, Yusef Komunyakaa, Terrance Hayes, Tracy K. Smith, Ada Limón, Michael Palmer, Mary Ann Samyn, and Arthur Sze, but our own poems will serve as the inspiriting core of discussion for this workshop.


Check out an interview with Neil Shepard on teaching poetry and more.


Class Dates:
Wednesday, February 20, 6–8:30pm
Wednesday, February 27, 6–8:30pm
Wednesday, March 6, 6–8:30pm
Wednesday, March 13, 6–8:30pm
Wednesday, March 20, 6–8:30pm
Wednesday, April 3, 6–8:30pm


Neil Shepard is the author of eight volumes of poetry, most recently How It Is: Selected Poems (2018). He has taught for many years in the BFA program at Johnson State College in Vermont, as well as in the low-residency MFA Writing Program at Wilkes University (PA). He is the Founding Editor of the literary magazine Green Mountains Review, and he is a founder and former director of the Writing Program at the Vermont Studio Center.

Admission $325


Feb 20, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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