The Music of Language: A Poetry Workshop with Gary McDowell Begins

Richard Hugo tells us, in his essay, “Writing off the Subject,” that “all truth must conform to music.”  In other words, how we shape our experiences to the music of our language creates poetry.  We owe reality nothing and the truth about our feelings everything, and yet still we find it hard to move beyond mere experience and memory to create image-driven, sonically pleasing poems.  In order to practice doing so, we will spend our first few weeks reading widely among contemporary poets (both their poems and their essays on poetics), and through writing exercises and imitations (poems written under the influence of the poets we’ll be reading), we’ll transition into several weeks of the workshopping of our poems.  So come prepared to read, write, and have fun learning not only how to write poems but how to be poets.