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Poetry of Place, Poetry of Witness

Jul 11
Aug 1
6:00 - 8:00 PM CST
Joy Priest
Online via Zoom
Cancellation & Refund Policy >

In the first two weeks of this class, we will establish our connection to a specific place, and in the second half we will write as witnesses of what's happening there. We’ll establish the conventions of these two genres. The term “witness” has recently become ethically fraught in discourse around power, rhetorical position, and identity. We’ll discuss this and come up with our own personal ethos around witness. We’ll look at poets across an international range and discuss complicated topics such as who is allowed to write about what and what this has to do with being a good poet. We will work through casual prompts and share our work for feedback on a voluntary basis.

Joy Priest is the author of Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), selected as the winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. She is the recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the 2019-2020 Fine Arts Work Center fellowship, and she has won the Inprint Paul Verlaine Prize in Poetry and the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from the American Poetry Review. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day series, The Atlantic, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others, as well as in commissions for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). She is currently editing an anthology of Louisville poets for Sarabande Books.

What Our Students Say

"Joy's understanding of craft is exceptional. (I knew that from reading her first book, HORSEPOWER, last summer.) Now I know her own mastery of craft is more than matched by her ability to inspire and teach!"

"Excellent experience! I learned many new ideas and concepts for writing and understanding poetry, and I appreciated Joy's knowledge and facilitation. I would absolutely take more classes with Joy Priest and with The Porch!"

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