Poems for the Rest of Us: Writing New Praise Poems, Anthems & Odes 4-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Sunday, September 10th, 2023
Begins Sunday, September 10th, 2023
Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Sundays, 6:00PM EST - 8:00PM EST.
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Joan Kwon Glass, the Korean American author of NIGHT SWIM (Diode Editions, 2022) and three chapbooks including IF RUST CAN GROW ON THE MOON (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). She serves as poet laureate for Milford, CT, as Editor in Chief for Harbor Review and as a Brooklyn Poets mentor.
Learn more about Joan in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.
Praise poems have traditionally been written for expected subjects, love letters to subjects and people that the majority readily agrees are worthy of admiration. In recent years however, revolutionary poets have written new praise poems, anthems and odes to the unexpected, the undefined, even the ugly and discarded.
In this four-week class, we will read and write traditional and experimental poems that alchemize, inspire and challenge. Using these revolutionary works as anchor texts, we write our own praise poems, redefining what and whom is worthy of praise. We will clear the fields of conformity in favor of luminescence.
This will largely be a generative writing class with time for discussion & sharing informal feedback. Students may submit one poem at the end of class for formal, written feedback from the instructor. We will learn specific techniques for writing praise poems and for developing one’s unique voice as a poet.
The instructor will offer generative writing prompts to use during class and at home throughout the course. Readings will include Franny Choi, Danez Smith, Ada Limon, Mary Rueffle, Lucille Clifton, Jared Harel, Li-Young Lee & many others.
R.B. Simon, author of The Good Truth and Not Just the Fire says about Joan’s class: “I found a whole new way to look at my work while being exposed to new and exciting poems I had not yet discovered. This launched me into a writing frenzy, producing several poems I hope to see published in my newest collection! Not only was there ample time for writing, exploring others’ work, and workshop feedback, but Joan’s guidance as a patient and wise instructor with a humble and encouraging demeanor helped to elicit the best from each poem and poet. Her support and insight have been instrumental in my growth in the craft of poetry, and I can’t recommend her highly enough.”
Session One: In this class, we will learn briefly about the history of praise poems as well as ways in which writers have subverted and reclaimed them. What subjects have praise poems traditionally focused on, and what unexpected people and topics might also be worthy of praise? What poems can help inspire our own brainstorming and writing processes in this vein?
Session Two: What makes the praise poem so unique and why is it a particularly effective form for uplifting what may have historically been disregarded? Today we will read and write poems that incorporate histories–our own and those to which we belong. We will take on our bodies, countries, families and the world. What do we find beautiful and how can pain be the catalyst for new definitions of beauty?
Session Three: Today’s session will focus on the concept of subversion and reclamation. We will examine the art of erasure and blackout poems, read and write erasures and blackouts of hymns, anthems, and song lyrics. How can erasure serve the nontraditional praise poem, and what can we create and recreate? Writers will have opportunities to use their own materials as well as have access to source material provided by the instructor.
Session Four: In our last class, we will bring all of our learning home and into possible futures. What future can we imagine that is deserving of new hymns? Today we will become futurists, visionaries rooted in pasts which cannot bind us. We will write an anthem to the country not yet born, a hymn to the versions of ourselves we have not met, a poem in praise of unimagined realities. We will discuss how to move forward as writers with the tools we now have to guide us.
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
- Instructor: Joan Kwon Glass
- Class Starts Sunday, September 10th, 2023
- Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Sundays, 6:00PM EST - 8:00PM EST.
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.
Instructor Joan Kwon Glass is the Korean American author of NIGHT SWIM (Diode Editions, 2022) & three chapbooks including IF RUST CAN GROW ON THE MOON (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). She serves as poet laureate for Milford, CT, as Editor in Chief for Harbor Review & as a Brooklyn Poets mentor. Joan teaches on the faculty of Hudson Valley Writers Center, Brooklyn Poets & the International Women’s Writing Guild. Her work has won or been nominated for prizes such as the Pushcart Prize, Sundress Best of the Net, the Washburn Prize, Subnivean Award & Lumiere Review Award. Joan’s poems have been published in or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Asian American Writer’s Workshop (The Margins), Rattle, RHINO, Dialogist & elsewhere.