Online | Poetry | Workshop

6-Week Online Poetry Workshop: Visiting the Gifts of the Past

The Ghanaian word Sankofa is often depicted by a long-necked-heron bird looking back at an egg. The Adinkra symbol means “to retrieve,” “look back,” “go back to” or “fetch.”

In this class, best for writers with some writing workshop experience, we’ll go back to spend quality time with writing ancestors Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, June Jordan, and Gwendolyn Brooks and thoughtfully discuss concepts and themes as well as, deeply analyze their poetry. Next, we’ll bring this information with us as we closely read, discuss, and shadow the work of Patricia Smith, Toi Derricotte, and Rita Dove. A part of each week’s discussion will be attempting to establish a working definition and understanding of hybrid poetry, as well as developing a weekly writing ritual using generative creative prompts as our altar. Each writer will then respectfully and sacredly use the work of all six writers as a guiding foundation to create three of their own new hybrid poems.

Students will leave the class with a deeper understanding of hybridity as it applies to poetry and prose, practical skills to continue regular writing practices, and generative exercises to use in the future.

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.


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

- Students will write three hybrid poems.

- 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. (5-10 Pages)

2. Students will take notes weekly.

3. Students will journal weekly.

4. Students will write three poems during the class. They will receive oral feedback from their classmates, as well as written feedback from the instructor on one poem of the students’ choosing.

5. Students will participate in online class discussions.

6. Students will share one poem with the class.

7. Peers will give oral feedback.

8. Students will receive written feedback for one poem from the instructor.


Week One: Define and discuss the genre of "Hybrid Poetry," establish ongoing writing ritual, establish ongoing journaling exercise. Generative writing prompts.(*Reading homework and journaling homework)

Week Two: Sankofa/Fetch discuss/read the work of June Jordan, Audre Lorde and Pat Parker. Generative writing prompts. (*Reading and journaling homework)

Week Three: Sankofa/Bring to present and moving forward with: Patricia Smith, Toi Derricotte and Rita Dove. (Reading and journaling homework)

Week Four: Write Poems (Journaling and editing homework) *THE HAIBUN*

Week Five: Editing tools as a class and Write Poems (Journaling and editing homework) *THE NINES*

Week Six: Write Poems. Option to share poems. *EPISTOLARY POEM*

Anastacia Renee

Anastacia-Renee is a writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, TEDx Speaker and podcaster. She is the author of (v.) (Black Ocean) and Forget It (Black Radish) and, Here in the (Middle) of Nowhere and Sidenotes from the Archivist forthcoming from Amistad (an imprint of HarperCollins). She was selected by NBC News as part of the list of "Queer Artist of Color Dominate 2021's Must See LGBTQ Art Shows." Anastacia-Renee was former Seattle Civic Poet (2017-2019), Hugo House Poet-in-Residence (2015-2017) and Arc Artist Fellow (2020). Her poetry and fiction have appeared in, The Hennepin Review, Hobart, Foglifter, Auburn Avenue, Catapult, Alta, Torch, Poetry Northwest, Cascadia Magazine, Ms. Magazine and others. Renee has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Ragdale, Mineral School, and The New Orleans Writers Residency. 


“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