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"Writing Poems that KILL!!!!!!!!!!"


10 spots, Intermediate level, $150
10 am Iowa time-4 pm with breaks for writing/lunch.
Email jenniferlknox at gmail for sign-up/details.

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When most people think of "poetry," they think, "love," "heartbreak," "beauty," and "nature." They don't think "Richard Ramirez, AKA the Nightstalker." But there IS a thrilling intersection between poetry and crime, noir, detective lit, suspense, and horror that's dying to be explored.

Normally, poetry lights up the same part of the brain that music and meditation engages—heightening our introspectiveness. It's an "I" thing. But suspense and fear light up the same part of the brain that comedy engages: surprise. After the adrenaline drains, we feel more interconnected, like we're all in the same boat. It's a "we" thing, and we're going to tap into that "we.” As all writing is a way of understanding and engaging with the world, writing about these subjects can help us view actually traumatic situations in a less triggering way.

* Read 8 poems before class starts
* Observe and compile an informal list of thoughts on a topic before class starts
* Write responses to 6 prompts during class
* Read and comment on the work of other participants during class

The class will be held online via Zoom Meeting—you'll need a desktop computer, smart phone or tablet (with a camera if you want to be seen). I’ll email you a link, you’ll click on it at 10 am midwest time on Sunday. We’ll be able to see each other all at once on a grid, as well as read poems on the screen. When you're finished writing a poem, you’ll upload it to a shared folder; I’ll post it on screen, so everyone can read and discuss. 

UPDATE: The materials are ready to peruse. If you’d like a sneak peek, email me at jenniferlknox @ gmail.

10-10:45 am
Inventory: what scares us
Creating fear, suspense, and narrative in the limited, distilled space of a poem

10:45-11:30 am
Poem 1: Hypnagogic hallucinations
“I wake to sleep”
Writing, reading and discussion

11:30-11:45 am

11:45-12:30 am
Poem 2: True crime and DNA
”Not buried deep enough”
Writing, reading and discussion

12:30-1:00 pm
Lunch, stretch, meditation break

1:00-1:45 pm
Poem 3: Mass psychogenic illness 
”What’s up with all the zombie movies?”
Writing, reading and discussion

1:45-2:30 pm
Poem 4: Voices of the dead 
Model: Margaret Atwood, "This is a Photograph of Me"
Writing, reading and discussion

2:30-2:45 pm

2:45-3:30 pm
Poem 5: The Shadow 
”It's been inside you all along”
Writing, reading and discussion

3:30-4:00 pm
Poem 6, lightning round: Ghost stories
”Bloody Mary”
Writing and reading


Later Event: March 2
Publishing Your Poems