In this hybrid-genre workshop, you will become a mad scientist, and write narrative-in-verse (or in prose poems). Whether you want to use poems for memoir, showing the progression of climate change over the next five hundred years through fantastic botanical dreamscapes, character-based narrative, historical analysis, or anything—the narrative-in-verse form is capable of anything you can imagine. Narratives-in-verse can be as unique as the person who writes them.
Using poetic fragments as the basis of longer storytelling, you will learn to write narratives beyond the boundaries of classically cohesive storytelling. As narratives-in-verse fractal into poems fractal into images fractal into lines or sentences, you will learn how to craft larger narratives out of the careful arrangement of individual pieces or fragments.
Students will be reading queer, trans, and speculative narratives-in-verse by writers such as Cathy Park Hong, Chase Berggrun, Octavia Butler, and Ilya Kaminsky to discuss in class. Students will write and workshop two narratives-in-verse. This workshop is open to anyone, whether you primarily write poetry or prose, and whether you have experience writing narrative-in-verse or not!
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.
- Learn to become a mad scientist of fragmented storytelling
- Understand the fractalization of narratives in verse from macro (plot and structure) to micro (individual images and lines)
- Liberate yourself from traditional narrative structure
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Each week students should read the assigned inspiration reading (30-60 minutes per week) and be prepared to discuss it from a craft perspective in class. Twice over the course of the class, students will workshop a narrative-in-verse. It could be two different pieces or one of the same piece. Pieces should be between three and ten double-spaced pages per submission.
Week 1: Everything is possible (Speculative world-building and character-driven narrative)
Week 2: Rewriting the rules (Using erasure to create narratives-in-verse)
Week 3: Memoir (Weaving memory poems together to tell a story)
Week 4: The poem as anchor (Verse storytelling in prose fiction)
Week 5: The script (Poems as scenes in a multi-act novel)
Week 6: Obsession (Zooming in, in, in)
Rainie Oet is a queer, nonbinary, transfeminine writer, former Editor-in-Chief at Salt Hill Journal, and the author of three books of poetry: Glorious Veils of Diane (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2021), Inside Ball Lightning (SEMO Press, 2020), and Porcupine in Freefall (winner of the Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Competition, 2019). They won the inaugural flash fiction contest from Press 53 in 2018 and Puerto Del Sol's 2019 Poetry Contest. They received their MFA in Poetry from Syracuse University, where they were awarded the Shirley Jackson Prize in Fiction. Read more at rainieoet.com
"Rainie Oet has it all. Dramatic reach and psychological depth. Humor that will knock you down, and tenderness that will float you genie-like above your seat. An extraordinary display of poetic power, and 's must-read new voice."
“Complex, mysterious, finely wrought, and formally daring. Rainie Oet is a young writer to watch.”
“A poet to watch….Rainie Oet sees and names our longing for transformation.”
"Extremely helpful and knowledgeable about their craft. The classes were enriching and engaging. There was nothing I didn't like."
"Rainie allowed us to explore the writing style we wanted."
"Rainie did an excellent job running this class and fostering an accepting and warm environment to share in."