Online | Poetry | Memoir | Workshop

4-Week Generative Poetry Workshop: When Poetry Meets Memoir

“Memory (the deliberate act of remembering) is a form of willed creation. It is not an effort to find out the way it really was—that is research. The point is to dwell on the way it appeared and why it appeared in that particular way.” -Toni Morrison

Have you ever said to yourself, “I’d really like to try my hand at writing a memoir” but felt blocked because you see yourself as a poet? Do you ever feel stuck in the first person point of view when writing nostalgic or deeply emotional work? In this genre-bending workshop, open to writers with all levels of writing experience, we will collectively and independently explore and interrogate stories, communal folklore, and the archival of memories. We will lay our memories (from multiple points of view) out and jigsaw them to create, uphold, and deconstruct form.

We’ll begin each workshop with writing prompts to generate smaller pieces of work, and over the course we’ll discuss readings by writers such as Toi Derricotte, Melissa Febos, Saeed Jones, and Bettina Judd. Each participant will leave the class with three pieces of hybrid work—the haibun, nines, and micro-prose-memoir poem. Students will receive feedback on one poem from the workshop.

Writers will leave this class with a deeper understanding of how to creatively combine traditional memoir-in-prose with the poetry genre to create multi-genre poetry and prose. 

Our class platform works best on laptop or desktop computers. Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features. The Zoom calls will have automated transcription enabled. Please let us know ([email protected]) if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility. 

Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.  


- Students will closely read, thoughtfully discuss, and analyze poems from published writers.

- Students will write and submit three hybrid poems to the workshop for verbal feedback.

- Students will garner tools for creative and lasting writing practice.

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


1. Students will read a maximum of 5 poems weekly (between 5-10 pages each week).

2. Students will take notes weekly.

3. Students will journal weekly.

4. Students will write three poems during the class.

5. Students will participate in online class discussions.

6. Students will share three poems with the class.

7. Peers will give in-class feedback.

8. Students will receive detailed written feedback for one poem of the students choosing from the instructor to be returned the following week.


Week One: "Memoir poetry”

Week Two: The Nines (Body Memoir)

Week Three: Haibun

Week Four: Micro-memoir/prose poem

Anastacia Renee

Anastacia-Renee (She/They) is a queer writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, speaker and podcaster. She is the author of (v.) (Black Ocean) and Forget It (Black Radish) and, Side Notes from the Archivist are forthcoming from Amistad (an imprint of HarperCollins).


“Anastacia Renee’s somber, shrewd and sensually detailed romp through a field of landmines definitively shatters both the predictability of genre and the limits of lyric. These fierce vignettes, crafted to confront, are too restless and urgent to behave while considering their impact. Instead, they meld into a story we can’t turn away from, one that—if you need to slap it with a name—could be called poetry. But FORGET IT (which is all but impossible to forget) isn’t simply poetry. What it is is simply inevitable.”

Patricia Smith

“In FORGET IT, Anastacia Renee’s new poetry collection, movement is subterranean and celestial in one breath. The lives of mothers and babies, women and girls turn the womb outward to uncover the traumas of birth and loss, love and grief. Using multiple identities and voices, the social world of appearance, judgment, identity and relationship is superimposed against the demands of woman-ness—a critique, a disruption and a declaration of the self. Renee’s interweaving is relentless, and the interwork of prose, poetry, footnotes, dialogic, and declarations, create a new symphonic awareness of how women’s lives are intrinsically bonded to the internal. Some meta-, some stream-of-consciousness, some lyric and narrative, the movements invade the senses and interrupt the intellectual to initiate an atomic space where the elements converge. This collection is heart-pounding and dynamic. Reneé words emanate at a high absorption rate that leaves the heart pounding as we release assumptions and give into the simultaneity of understanding and liberation.”

Elmaz Abinader

"You taught me about creating within and in service of the community. Forever grateful to you."

former student

"Thank you for your support! It is a pretty exciting and nebulous transition. It's work that is so worth putting my entire body, heart and mind and will into as I navigate what it means to be a writer in public. The biggest gift is getting to invite more folks to the (writing) table, in turn. Thank YOU for offering me a seat."

former student