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To Fire & Surprise: Making New Poems with R. A. Villanueva

Jun 11, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


This class is now full! To be added to the waitlist, please email Or explore our other summer workshops!


Six Tuesdays, June 11–July 23
(skipping July 2)


Natalie Diaz begins a recent craft talk, “Building the Emotional Image,” considering the interplay between images, story, and history in her poems, reflecting on how her images “mostly come from my home, the place where my brain was formed and where all the little electrical circuits in my brain learned to fire.” In this course, we’ll follow her lead, exploring the infinite possibilities of our own obsessions, interests, and memories. Each session will be devoted to generative writing, the creation of new work, and chances to discuss the surprising drafts that emerge. And to illuminate and complicate our thinking, we will read a dynamic array of contemporary poets (Aracelis Girmay, Patricia Smith, Vahni Capildeo, Anne Carson, Sarah Howe, sam sax, Layli Long Soldier, Fady Joudah, and more). Open to experiments, we will unsettle habits and find inspiration in the unconventional.


Class Dates:
Tuesday, June 11, 6-8:30pm
Tuesday, June 18, 6-8:30pm
Tuesday, June 25, 6-8:30pm
Tuesday, July 9, 6-8:30pm
Tuesday, July 16, 6-8:30pm
Tuesday, July 23, 6-8:30pm


R. A. Villanueva is the author of Reliquaria, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize (U. Nebraska Press, 2014). He is also a founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, and he has published his poetry widely in journals, including Poetry, Guernica, and The American Poetry Review. His honors include fellowships from Kundiman and the Asian American Literary Review.


Registration Deadline: Monday, June 3 


Admission $325


Jun 11, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Stanley Kunitz Conference Room, Poets House
10 River Terrace
New York, NY 10282 United States
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