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Applying the Pressure: Syntax and Style: Poetry Class (Zoom)

Dates: 2 Wednesdays, April 17 - April 24 
Time: 6-8pm (Pacific Time Zone)
Instructor: Jim Whiteside
Ages: Adult 
Genre: Poetry
Price: $195
Jim Whiteside.jpg

Louise Glück famously wrote the lines "At the end of my suffering/there was a door," and notably did *not* write "There was a door/at the end of my suffering." Both versions contain the same words, but one is alive and suspenseful while the other is, as Glück herself would say, inert.


In this class, we will look at the ways in which sentence structure and line breaks help uncover the potential for tension, suspense, and surprise in our writing. How do the poetic masters of our time use the manipulation of the sentence as a way to elevate language and meaning themselves? How can we apply these lessons to our own writing?


Over the course of the seminar, we will look at examples of writers who demonstrate how a sentence itself can be elevated and energized, and how a sentence interacts with the larger piece of writing it helps make up.

About the Instructor:

Jim Whiteside is the author of a chapbook, Writing Your Name on the Glass (Bull City Press, 2019) and is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He is the recipient of scholarships from from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as residencies from Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Jim’s poems have appeared or will soon appear in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Best New Poets 2020 and 2023, and Boston Review. Originally from Cookeville, Tennessee, he holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Click here to learn more about Jim.


If you find that you can't take a class for which you registered, you may request a refund, less a $25 administrative fee, at least 48 hours prior to the start of the first class session. If a class doesn't reach its minimum enrollment, it will be cancelled, and all students will receive full refunds.

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