arrow-right cart chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close menu minus play plus search share user email pinterest facebook instagram snapchat tumblr twitter vimeo youtube subscribe dogecoin dwolla forbrugsforeningen litecoin amazon_payments american_express bitcoin cirrus discover fancy interac jcb master paypal stripe visa diners_club dankort maestro trash

Shopping Cart

Formal Constraints: an 8-Week Poetry Intensive (Zoom) with CD Eskilson, Starts Monday, September 9th, 2024
Regular price
3.440,00 kr

Formal Constraints: an 8-Week Poetry Intensive (Zoom) with CD Eskilson, Starts Monday, September 9th, 2024

Unit price per

Begins Monday, September 9th, 2024

Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Mondays, 8:00PM CST - 10:00PM CST.

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Instructor CD Eskilson is a trans poet, editor, and translator. Their work appears in The Offing, Pleiades, Hayden's Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, and others. They are a recipient of the C.D. Wright/Academy of American Poets Prize, as well as a Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and Pushcart Prize nominee. Their debut poetry collection, Scream / Queen, is forthcoming from Acre Books in 2025. CD is assistant poetry editor for Split Lip Magazine and a member of the editorial board for Exposition Review, where they were previously poetry editor. CD earned their MFA from the University of Arkansas where they received the Walton Family Fellowship in Poetry, the James T. Whitehead Award in Poetry, the James E. & Ellen Wadley Roper Fellowship in Creative Writing, and the Lily Peter Fellowship in Translation.

Learn more about CD in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.

Why Formal Constraints?

While at first counter-intuitive, constraints are often liberating during the craft of a poem and help take our work in new directions. Here, we will consider how surprise and subversion come to the forefront of formal poetry by writers as they deeply engage with challenging subjects.

Embrace Tradition and Innovation:

While “traditional” poetic verse has for decades been claimed by aggrieved chauvinists or stuffy gatekeepers, dexterity, linguistic dynamism, and reinvention are staples of formal poetry. In fact, contemporary writing reveals the vast poetic possibilities available through forms like the sonnet, ghazal, or villanelle. Newer forms like the duplex and burning haibun further underscore the creative potential of utilizing formal constraints in our work to address difficult topics.

What You'll Do:

This workshop will consider how surprise and subversion can be brought to the forefront of formal poetry to deepen our engagement with challenging subjects. We will practice writing in various forms, from sonnets to golden shovels, from found poems to haiku.

We will interrogate the structural elements of poetic forms (meter, stanza, repetition, rhyme) to locate their creative and oftentimes radical potentials. We will also develop our own invented poetic forms! 

Weekly reading packets will be provided as we explore the work of diverse poets reinventing traditional forms across a variety of books, anthologies, and other literary media. Selections include poems by Patricia Smith, Shane McCrae, Diane Seuss, Jericho Brown, Thom Gunn, and C.T. Salazar, among others.


  • Week 1: The “F” word: Introduction to form
  • Week 2: Workshop
  • Week 3: 2s and 3s: Couplets, Tercets, and poetic stanzas
  • Week 4: Workshop
  • Week 5: Little Song: The Sonnet and Sound
  • Week 6: Workshop
  • Week 7: Say it again: Refrain forms
  • Week 8: Workshop


  • Craft Mastery: Craft original poems using received, experimental, and invented poetic forms;
  • Form Expertise: Identify key traditional poetic forms such as the sonnet, villanelle, ghazal, and others;
  • Critical Insight: Articulate the relationship between form and content in published poems, as well as discuss the various craft elements found in their own writing;
  • Feedback Skills: Offer considerate, constructive feedback to peers on their work in both written and verbal forms;
  • Polish and Perfect: Employ various revision and editing strategies to polish new drafts of writing.


This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!


Tuition is $495. You can pay for the course in full  or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.

Join us:
Transform your poetic practice and discover the liberating power of formal constraints. Enroll now and take the next step in your creative journey with CD Eskilson’s expert guidance.
  • Instructor: CD Eskilson

  • Class Starts Monday, September 9th, 2024

  • Course is fully ONLINE and will meet weekly via Zoom on Mondays from 8:00PM CST - 10:00PM CST.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.