Poetry | Workshop

6-Week Poetry Workshop: Catching an Editor's Eye

"Ben is a thoughtful, sensitive, knowledgable, and dedicated teacher. I could see his love of poetry right away and loved how excited he was to share poetry with the world. The poems he taught from were fresh and relevant and my own poems gained so much through workshop. I liked this class better than many of my poetry classes at NYU." - former student

This course is for anyone who wants to improve their creativity, generate fresh work, and produce poetry rich in vivid imagery—the kind that stops readers in their tracks and gets editors nodding their heads.

Together, we'll learn to push beyond cliches and illustrate life in new ways on the page. You’ll each workshop 4-5 poems, written outside of class and of your own choosing. We’ll also hold mini-workshops for poems we compose during in-class writing exercises, and discuss potential outlets for publication. For inspiration, we’ll look at a range of poets (Terrance Hayes, Richard Siken, Victoria Chang, and others) to examine how they craft their own visual magic. Whether you’re a seasoned poet or new to the genre, this workshop will inspire you to put pen to paper and sharpen how you make use of sensory details across all kinds of writing.


- Receive specific, action-oriented feedback on your poetry

- Acquire skills you can apply across all genres of writing / communication

- Achieve the kind of visual specificity / richness that editors love

*no class November 21

Ben Purkert

Ben Purkert is the author of For the Love of Endings (Four Way Books, 2018). His poems, essays, and book reviews appear in The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, AGNI, Tin House Online, Ploughshares, Boston Review, and elsewhere. A contributing editor at Guernica, he teaches creative writing at Rutgers New Brunswick.


"It was lit."

former student

"[A] perceptive debut... The collection pings with delightful precision between the objects that connect people and those that divide."


"This is a poetry that makes a place for the tangential, the trace, the touch, a tomorrow.”

Maureen N. McLane

"I want this book to float out into the cosmos to reach future and existing forms of intelligence—to let them know there was at least one beautiful/difficult, dark/brilliant side to us earthlings.”

Brenda Shaughnessy