Love and Dissent: A Poetry Workshop

“Every poem is a love poem. Every poem is a political poem. So say the masters. Every love poem is political. Every political poem must fall in love.” – Jericho Brown

Love poems and political poems are possibly two of the trickiest genres to write. How can we honor what we love with original, subversive detail that transcends the personal? How can we write the political while avoiding traps of didacticism and generalizations? In this generative workshop we will explore the political love poem— poems that praise and interrogate the world, that seek disruption and intimacy, and incorporate disparate elements from traditional odes to punk rock. The class will be devoted to writing prompts and discussion of student work. We will also read poems by Osip Mandelstam, Terrance Hayes, Keetje Kuipers, Angel Nafis, Natalie Diaz and others to inspire our writing and expand our sense of what a poem can do.