In this workshop, you will write one poem only, so make it good. That’s the objective, anyway.
Beginning with a rough draft in the first workshop, you will sculpt one poem according to the course’s scaffolded instruction. Each week we will study one craft aspect: structure & form, prosody & music, the line, metaphor, and the image system. Ultimately, this is a revision workshop, and the idea is that you will revise your one poem each week and receive feedback on your revision from the class. However, if you want to bring in a new poem each week focused on the craft aspect at hand, that will be okay. We will read and discuss classic craft essays and essays by poets writing today—from Denise Levertov to Ocean Vuong—but, by the end of the course, you will undoubtedly have developed your own theories and approaches, your own process.
This class is open to writers at all experience levels, but may be ideal for writers who want an introduction to, or refresher on, the elements of poetry and revision technique.
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.
- Revision strategies and techniques you can implement in your work
- An understanding of the foundational craft elements of poetry
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Read one essay and revise the same poem each week or write a new poem each week with attention to the craft aspect at hand.
6/9: Structure & Form
6/16: Prosody & Music
6/23: The Line
7/7: The Image System
6:00 - 6:20pm: Will discuss the essay
6:20 - 8:00pm: Workshop (with a specific focus on the craft aspect at hand)
Joy Priest is the author of Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. Her work has been recognized by a 2021 NEA Fellowship, a 2019-2020 Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship, and the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, among other awards, and has appeared in numerous publications, including Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, American Poetry Review, and The Atlantic.
"HORSEPOWER tells what it is to be a bridge in one's family between racism and a love forged in defiance of racism; it tells what it is to need to both escape that role and embrace it. And, just as importantly, it tells the arrival of a powerful new poet, a poet to whose stories I will continue to listen."
"Through tragedy and triumph, Joy Priest’s poems thunder in the ears like a supercharged heartbeat. Her landscapes drawn technicolor, intense with paradox and heat, devotion is indistinguishable from rage. HORSEPOWER seethes with so much intelligence and feeling that comparisons to Hurston are inevitable. Jean Toomer also comes quickly to mind, but Priest’s voice is one of a kind. Let these poems comfort you, if you dare, soft as the pillow that hides the gun."
"HORSEPOWER, Joy Priest’s debut collection, is a captivating display of might and elegance, a language of astonishing sinew through which the backdrop of place and a compelling life come into vivid focus. Undergirding these poems is a restless, resilient spirit: an urgent grappling with the desire to both remember and outrun the past, with history both personal and communal, and the complexities of American racism in its most intimate manifestation—familial love. I had, for/years, Priest writes, been taught to live that way. Black, unassuming,/zipped up in history....Throughout this remarkable debut, Priest shows us what it means to clear the stall, break out of the traces, and run unbridled into life."
"Ms. Priest’s review of my pandemic poems exceeded my expectations. The feedback she provided was thought provoking and well-articulated. It’s always a pleasure to have a professional poet’s personalized time and attention. Ms. Priest gave equal weight to each poem and made keen observations on the poems’ subject matter, form and word choices. She framed the weaker areas in the poems with questions which will be instrumental when I revise this series. Her time and attention to detail was welcomed and greatly appreciated."
"Still meditating on all I learned from today’s amazing workshop with Joy Priest. I am possibly the slowest poet on the planet. Like, months per draft. Joy’s workshop inspired me to the point that I wrote a draft in 15 mins. Her ability to teach craft and desire is unmatched! Thank you for making me (and everyone in the group) feel heard, and feel safe to explore our thoughts/ideas."