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The Contemporary Sonnet: Exploring Freedom and Form 4-Week Online Workshop, Starts Monday, July 22nd, 2024
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The Contemporary Sonnet: Exploring Freedom and Form 4-Week Online Workshop, Starts Monday, July 22nd, 2024

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Class Starts Monday, July 22nd, 2024


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

Led by Lindsay Tigue, author of the poetry collection System of Ghosts, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. Tigue writes poetry and prose and her work appears in Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Verse Daily, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among other journals. She was a Tennessee Williams scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a James Merrill fellow at the Vermont Studio Center. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Iowa State University and the PhD program in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. She has worked as an English and Creative Writing assistant professor at Eastern New Mexico University. She lives in Michigan.

Is the centuries-old sonnet having a moment? In The American Sonnet: An Anthology of Poems and Essays, edited by Dora Malech and Laura Smith, the editors say in their introduction, “Nearly eight hundred years since its invention, the sonnet is in a period of extraordinary production and development, taken up by poets of every aesthetic persuasion.”

A recent X (formerly Twitter) debate over what “counts” as a sonnet brought the form to many people’s attention and inspired people to share their favorite examples.
As Malech and Smith point out, this debate is far from a new one.

So, what is the sonnet? Where can we draw a line, if we can at all? In this 4-week course, poet Lindsay Tigue will guide you in writing a series of sonnets that push the envelope of what a sonnet is, with a particular focus on prompts asking you to try unrhymed sonnets and other ways that stretch the limits of form.

This class will help you to form part of an online community of writers--whether you are already practicing poets or are turning to poetry for the first time. In this online poetry workshop, you will write your own poems, provide feedback to your online classmates, and read from our class text, The American Sonnet: An Anthology of Poems and Essays, edited by Dora Malech and Laura Smith.

Lindsay Tigue will provide a series of exercises and prompts to accompany the readings that will help you create a series of sonnets by the end of the course.


  • Identify ideas (past and present) about the sonnet and how contemporary poets balance form and freedom using the sonnet.
  • Generate new work that tries to balance these elements. 
  • Understand a deeper sense of your writing and unique gifts as a writer.
  • Forge meaningful connections with fellow poets, fostering a supportive and collaborative online community.
  • Experiment with creative playfulness and possibility.


Week 1: Introducing Ourselves, Getting Started, What is the Sonnet?

Week 2: Craft and History of the Sonnet

Week 3: Contemporary Masters of the Sonnet

Week 4: Sonnet as Experiment


"The class engagement, the course organization, Lindsay's critiques, and class materials. I also loved the opportunity to chat with Lindsay on Zoom. The course exceeded my expectations. Lindsay is great. Thank you!" -Olga A.

"I loved the extensive and in-depth reading assignments. I also appreciated Lindsay's feedback. Would highly recommend this class to any writer wanting to explore prose poetry." -Kristen H.

"I found the readings and my classmates' poetry contributions especially valuable. The class exceeded my expectations. I only wish it was longer!" - Jacinta K.

"The Wet Ink platform worked superbly; I also liked the hybrid mode of asynchronous and optional zoom sessions; class participants were excellent writers; the class size was also appropriate, not too large or too small, but was just right a size to exchange feedback; the course textbook and other reading materials introduced by the instructor were also stimulating enough; submission of four (4) poems for feedback was a generously built-in structure of the class considering the short span of the class and reasonably priced tuition fee. But additionally, at first, I felt uncomfortable about generative writing by prompts. I've decided to give it the benefit of doubt; it was my very first try at its kind. I was surprised by how productive I became through the course. Now I have come to believe in generative writing mode and find it very helpful. I am so glad I took this workshop. Lindsey was thorough, well-prepared, well-organized, and caring for our work with thoughtful comments. She was committed to running the workshop and on top of everything. I feel lucky to have had her as an instructor." - Myung-hee K.

"I loved generating poems after reading the multiple essays in the reference material. I would highly recommend this class. Lindsay is great!" -Former Student

"This class exceeded my expectations. I found the structure of the class and Lindsay's availability, prompts, and encouragement most valuable. Take this class if you want to learn more about prose poetry with an expert guide." -Gary Y.

"The workshop exceeded my expectations in that each of the 4 weeks, a main topic was posted with links to articles in the source text and other readings, with prose poem examples. This allowed for comment on their construction and how that contributed to the poem's effects. I appreciated this critique learning practice. Direction on specific topics every week provided focus. This was my first time concentrating on prose poems, and b/c Wet Ink allows editing easily, I could revise my prose poems after Lindsay's helpful critiques and any useful critiques from class participants. My own work improved, and I came away with two poems that are being published." -Lynn M.

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


This class is entirely asynchronous, which means you complete the weekly assignments on your own schedule. There are no set meeting times in order to allow for greater participation; your cohort will consist of writers from across different time zones, which allows for a wonderful diversity of voices.

Along with your weekly deadlines, there is plenty of interaction with Lindsay and your peers within Wet Ink, our dedicated online classroom. Craft materials, lectures, reading assignments, and writing prompts are all available through the online classroom. Students also post work and provide and receive feedback within the online classroom environment.

You can finish the work as you see fit week-to-week, which is perfect for any schedule. Each week, discussion questions are inspired by the assigned readings and topics in the lecture notes. Students are encouraged to take these wherever is most compelling and/or useful for them. Lindsay engages with these discussions throughout the week and you will receive feedback from all assigned writing activities.


Wet Ink was built and designed specifically for online writing classes. Wet Ink is private, easy to use, and very interactive. You can learn more about the Wet Ink platform by Watching a Class Demo.

  • Instructor: Lindsay Tigue
  • Starts Monday, July 22nd, 2024
  • Course is fully ONLINE and will meet via Wet Ink