Ever wondered why some poems never fail to give you chills, while others fall flat? We’ll examine a fascinating study of how the brain processes poems and is rewarded by them, as well how differences in poetic craft can affect the brain’s response. We’ll read works by poets such as Robert Hayden, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Nepo, and A.E. Stallings, and use our discussions as a springboard for our own writing prompts, using these techniques to strengthen our own work.
Julie Sumner is a writer who has worked as a critical care nurse, transplant coordinator, and massage therapist. She recently completed her MFA in poetry at Seattle Pacific University. Her work has appeared in Fathom, The Englewood Review of Books, The Cresset, Juxtaprose, San Pedro River Review, Catalpa Magazine, and The Behemoth.