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Music of the Poetic Image

Nov 6
Nov 6
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST
Gary McDowell
The Porch House at 2811 Dogwood Pl., Nashville, TN 37204
Cancellation & Refund Policy >

The image—a visceral representation of a moment in time via one of our five senses—is the backbone of a poetry that asks of its reader to be participatory. We don’t want our readers to “feel;” instead, we want them to “experience.” How do you do that with merely words on a two-dimensional page? The answer is to imbue our poetic images with music, with palpitations, with rhythm and cadence that guides the reader through the image rather than around it; in other words, an image only works perfectly if it’s mimetic of the idea it pursues.

In this class, we will investigate what makes a good image before diving more deeply into how we can transcend “good” and move toward making our poems three-dimensional experiences wherein the reader not only sees our images but hears them via the language in which they’re encoded. Come prepared to write beyond the senses!

Use code EARLYBIRD at checkout for 20% off through August 18!

Note: This class is scheduled to take place in person at Porch HQ. You must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate, and we will enroll a maximum of 10 participants.  Masks are not required at this time, though we will revisit this policy as needed.  Check our website and this listing for details before you attend class.

Gary McDowell's Aflame won the 2019 White Pine Press Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in Fall 2020. He is also the author of Caesura: Essays (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2017) and Mysteries in a World that Thinks There Are None (Burnside Review Press, 2016), among other books. His poems and essays have appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, New England Review, and The Southern Review.

What Our Students Say

"Gary McDowell was an encouraging, knowledgeable and generous instructor. In his class, I not only learned much more about the technical aspects of writing a poem than I had known before but with his help, was inspired to infuse certain of my poems with greater clarity and strength."

"Encyclopedic knowledge of modern American poetry, willing to share what he has learned about writing itself, which is considerable and worthwhile, all this remarkably without ego; Gary creates a stimulating supportive space to learn."

"Gary set a great workshop tone. He was totally supportive and inclusive, expertly steering discussion but also talking to us as peers. He had things to add, but was never overbearing. I loved his way of instructing and would take a class from him again!"

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