Online | Poetry | Seminar

6-Week Poetry Seminar: The Poet's Starter Kit

In this 6-week dynamic course, we'll address the foundational concerns of a poet writing and publishing in today's literary ecosystem. Some of the topics we'll discuss: What are important things to consider for one's submission? What does "simultaneous submission" mean? What are the standards and expectations for a journal submission vs. a fellowship submission vs. an anthology submission? What are some important things poets should know about honoraria, 1099s, and paying taxes as an independent contractor?

The following weeks will be devoted to reading and discussing foundational craft essays and poems. We will casually share and offer verbal feedback on our own poems, and there will be a more unorthodox opportunity to consider how one's different poems are appropriate for specific types of submission.

Students will leave this class with a greater understanding of how to submit their poems, a working knowledge of financial matters, and a repertoire of foundational poetry craft essays.

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.  


- Submission etiquette

- Things poets might not know about earning money as a writer

- Foundational craft frameworks & essays

- Verbal feedback on responses to writing prompts

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


Each week students will read a *short* craft essay or social media thread and a selection of 2-3 poems. There will also be in-class writing prompts, as well as casual sharing and feedback.


Week 1 - Submission Standards & Expectations

Week 2 - Earning Money as a Writer

Week 3 - The Four Temperaments

Week 4 - Tenor & Vehicle

Week 5 - Leaps in Poetry

Weeki 6 - Revision

Joy Priest

Joy Priest is the author of Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), selected as the winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. She is the recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a 2019-2020 Fine Arts Work Center fellowship, and the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from the American Poetry Review. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day series, The Atlantic, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others, as well as in commissions for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).


"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."

Shane McCrae

"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."

Gregory Pardlo

"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."

Natasha Trethewey

"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."

Susan Sanders

"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."

Ariana Benson