Online | Poetry | Seminar

6-Week Poetry Seminar: Excavating the Self

How can we truly unearth the depths and sensations at the core of our memories to generate new poems? How can we talk about the unspeakable or the things that we have not quite been able to write into? This seminar will focus on working with writers to find different ways of excavating the self and leaning into the work that can come through this experience.

This six-week seminar will focus on investigating different sensations brought up through memory along with exploring the work of other poets who write from the self and memory, inspiring writers to view memory from different angles and perspectives along with generating new work inspired by the unearthing. Each class will start with a discussion of poems, read in advance, a generative writing session based on the week’s theme, and a workshop where we’ll look at pieces from members of the class. This course is open to all poets interested in writing new work, providing feedback to classmates, and engaging in thorough discussion about the craft of other poets.

*No class Nov. 23

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.

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


- A supportive environment for exploring new approaches to memory, the self, and transformation

- An opportunity to generate new work from new processes of writing

- Examinations of poetic craft and discussions about what other poets can teach us about our own writing

- Illuminating discussions meant to inspire us and encourage us to learn more about ourselves, our writing practices, and the work we are putting into the world

- Personal feedback from the instructor on your writing

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


- Writers must be open to generating new work each week

- Writers are expected to participate in all course meetings by responding to the work of others through written feedback and discussion-based feedback during workshop discussions

- Each session will focus on a selection of poems, participants are expected to do their best to engage with these poems

- Writers are expected to be open to sharing reflections, work-in-progress, and thoughts regarding to each class session

COURSE SKELETON (subject to change):

Week 1: Mining the Senses

Week 2: Out of the Body

Week 3: Out of the Body continued

Week 4: Exploring Time

Week 5: Exploring Time continued

Week 6: Unearthing the Self

Tatiana Johnson-Boria

Tatiana (she/her) is a writer, artist, and educator. Her writing explores identity, trauma, especially inherited trauma, and what it means to heal. She is a 2021 MacDowell Fellowship recipient and a recipient of the 2021 Brother Thomas fellowship. She’s received honorable mention for the 2021 & 2020 Academy of American Poets Prize and is a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College and is a 2021 Tin House Scholar. She also serves on the board for VIDA: Literary Arts. Find her work in or forthcoming at Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, and Pleiades.


"Tatiana provided impeccable prompts, both for in class free writes and weekly assignments. She helped us tackle our writer's block and come to the page with fresh ideas and excitement. Further, she modeled an environment of care, collaboration, and community. Through small group exercises she made space for us to get to know each other, even in a remote class, and I've stayed in touch with many of my peers. I cannot recommend her class more! "

Aishvarya Arora

“Tatiana is an amazing instructor and I have fully enjoyed each class I take with her. The workshop portion was a highlight for me; how Tatiana guides the discussion is so thoughtful and productive. I also loved the readings provided.”

Katie Mihalek