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Form & Freedom: Sonnets & Ghazals:

Poetry Class (In Person at Left Margin LIT)

Date: Saturday, January 27
Time: 10 am - 3 pm (with one-hour lunch break) 
Instructor: Zeina Hashem Beck
Ages: Adult 
Genre: Poetry
Price: $195          

In this class, we will explore the history of two literary forms, emanating from different parts of the world: the sonnet and the ghazal. We will discuss their rules and evolution through the ages, and, in the ghazal’s case, across languages. We will read ghazals by Marilyn Hacker, Agha Shahid Ali, Mimi Khalvati, and sonnets by Terrance Hayes, Carl Phillips, and Diane Seuss.


We will ask: What makes a sonnet a sonnet? What makes a ghazal a ghazal? How can the constraint of form liberate us, allowing for creative poetic leaps?


There will also be time for writing, and students may share their poetry if they wish to do so.

Zeina Hashem Beck_edited.jpg

Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her third poetry collection, O, won the 2023 Arab American Book Award for Poetry and was named a Best Book of the Year by Literary Hub and The New York Public Library.


Her previous full-length collections are Louder than Hearts, winner of the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, and To Live in Autumn, winner of the 2013 Backwaters Prize. She’s also the author of two chapbooks: 3arabi Song, winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook prize, and There Was and How Much There Was, a 2016 Laureate’s Choice selected by Carol Ann Duffy.


Zeina's work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Nation, Academy of American Poets, and elsewhere. She’s the co-creator and co-host, with poet Farah Chamma, of Maqsouda, a podcast in Arabic about Arabic poetry. After a lifetime in Lebanon and a decade in Dubai, Zeina has recently moved with her family to California.


Click here to learn more about Zeina.

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