Poetry Writing for Non-Poetry Writers

"Always be a poet, even in prose." - Charles Baudelaire


Poetry might not be your reading or writing genre of choice—and that is fine. But whether you are writing memoir, short stories, novels, personal essays, children’s books, or a hybrid of one or more of these forms, poetic techniques and devices can help you bring precision and polish to your drafts.

In this course, you will learn about:

  • Imagery, the poet’s bread and butter, and how to make it work harder for you;
  • Metaphor and symbolism, so you can “tell it slant”;
  • Voice, and what we mean when we say the “speaker” vs. the “writer”;
  • Sound and structure, rule-breaking, risk-taking, and play (because yes, poetry can be fun!)
  • Word economy, or how to choose the right and most precise word every time.

Experimenting and deepening your understanding of these hallmarks of poetry can lead to breakthroughs in your writing in other genres. The assigned poems you will study in this course will be accessible and real, and will inspire you to bring musicality, metaphor, and muscle into your writing practice.

For writers of all levels and backgrounds, this course will show (not tell!) you how to add more po’ to your prose.

I am in awe of the feedback Stacia gave us on our work. It was immeasurably helpful and will carry me a long way toward being a better writer. I had no idea what to expect when I signed up and am honored to be a recipient of her wisdom. –Susan Parry, summer '21

I am overwhelmed by how truly perceptive Stacia is and what she can glean from one’s writing. She is an inspiring and nurturing teacher whose insights about the poetry of others really opened my eyes and heart to a realm I have not explored before. –Joanne Desjardins, summer '21

This class provided me with easy-to-understand and extremely flexible principles of poetry to make any kind of writing sing. The class doubled as an introduction to reading and enjoying poetry, maybe even writing it—previously an elusive challenge for me. I loved it!

-Deborah Robin, spring '20

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