Ben Purkert

Instructor & Writer
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Ben Purkert is the author of the forthcoming novel The Men Can't Be Saved (Overlook, 2023). His poetry collection For the Love of Endings (Four Way Books, 2018) was named one of Adroit's Best Poetry Books of the Year. His writing appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. The founding editor of Guernica's Back Draft interview series, he teaches at Rutgers. You can read more of his work at or on Twitter (@BenPurkert).


view 3 past classes  »


Cover Photo: This photograph shows two men sitting on a sidewalk with typewriters sitting on small tables in front of them. Both men are wearing hats and look classicly writerly; one man stares directly into the camera. At their feet, a sign reads, "Poet for hire. Pay what you want."
What to Do When Work Drains Your Creative Drive

It’s a bitter irony, courtesy of capitalism: writers working as writers to support the writing we are too spent to do.

Mar 14, 2022
Cover Photo: This photograph is a composite image of a solar eclipse in December 2019. The moon is shown spread across the sky in a line in 9 phases: crescents at the corner and full circles in the middle of the photograph. The sky fades from a deep cerulean blue to orange above a desert landscape.
Creation by Negation

Thwart your own impulses toward one genre or another with this generative writing exercise from Ben Purkert.

Feb 01, 2022
Cover Photo: Photograph by Thomas Renaud/Unsplash
I’m a Nervous Wreck When I Write Prose

I am yet another poet writing a novel. Which is to say, I find myself in hell.

May 06, 2021
Cover Photo: An illustration of a snake, poised to strike, fangs bared, as if almost smiling
The Only Invitation

I was begging / for some grandeur even if it meant / a little blood or whole limb

Feb 08, 2021