Online | Poetry | Workshop

8-Week Poetry Workshop: Finish Your Collection

“Write the book as if you’re writing your life,” visual artist and writer Truong Tran once said. No easy task at all, but with some guidance, we can blow the dust off your unfinished poetry manuscript and take it from draft #23 to a more publish-ready state.

Through guided in-class exercises, craft and publishing industry lectures, and assigned reading and writing assignments, you will gain valuable insight into your writing process, build confidence in revising and compiling pages for your manuscript, and learn to think in terms of writing a book rather than a singular poem.

Students should come prepared to the first class with at least half of a full-length poetry manuscript (25 pages) that they hope to develop into a longer book project. They should be ready to read and thoughtfully engage with their classmates’ projects as well as finished examples outside of class that we will look at together. This means frequent collaborative or partnered activities where you will practice thinking like an editor for others so that you can understand your own work better.

By the end of the workshop, students will come away with either a finished poetry manuscript that they are ready to send out to publishers or a concrete plan for completion.

To apply for this class, please submit a brief 3-5 sentence description of your manuscript and how this class would benefit the development of your project. Please also submit 5-7 pages from the manuscript you hope to work on in this class.

Our class platform works best on laptop or desktop computers. 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.  

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- Students will come away with a completed final draft of their full-length poetry collection or a concrete plan for completion

- Students will have a revitalized outlook on the book compilation process, taking away skills and best practices that will enable them to pursue putting together a book project independently

- Students will broaden their idea of what makes a "book," expanding the possibilities for their own writing process and trajectory

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

5-7 hours of writing, revision, or reading per week. Assignments may vary from providing written and verbal feedback on another participant's work, conducting research on comparable titles and preparing in-class presentations on that research, and putting together various drafts of their book project. Please note that the instructor will not be offering detailed feedback on student manuscripts weekly.

COURSE SKELETON:

Week 1: The Book’s Big Questions

Week 2: The Transformative Power of Sequencing

Week 3: Designing the Bones

Week 4: Addressing the Ghost

Week 5: Revision is Generative, pt. I

Week 6: Revision is Generative, pt. II

Week 7: The Body Comes Alive

Week 8: The Publishing Process

Muriel Leung

Muriel Leung is the author of Imagine Us, The Swarm (Nightboat Books), Bone Confetti (Noemi Press), and Images Seen to Images Felt (Antenna) in collaboration with artist Kristine Thompson. A Pushcart Prize nominated writer, her writing can be found in The Baffler, Cream City Review, Gulf Coast, The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review, and others.

She is a recipient of fellowships to Kundiman, VONA/Voices Workshop and the Community of Writers. She is the Poetry Co-Editor of Apogee Journal. She also co-hosts The Blood-Jet Writing Hour Podcast with Rachelle Cruz and MT Vallarta. She is a member of Miresa Collective, a feminist speakers bureau.

She received her PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from University of Southern California where she was an Andrew W. Mellon Humanities in a Digital World fellow. Currently, she is a book publicist for Kaya Press and is the inaugural Visiting Writer at Arizona State University. 

Testimonials

"Muriel is a sharp and insightful editor. She's helped give my prose and poetry new life with careful observations and clear guidance for editing. Her experience writing in multiple genres is an asset, not only in the reading and editing process, but in finding avenues for peoples' writing styles to flourish and grow. I've gained confidence in my writing as a direct result of Muriel's editing."

t.k. le

"Muriel Leung is an excellent teacher and editor with a command of poetry that would benefit any classroom. She's a profound speaker and is able to communicate complex topics with ease. This skill set is highlighted through her interview with NPR and her engaging dissertation on Asian American women and hybridity. Regardless of locale or topic, Muriel creates a welcoming environment for learning and being. With two extraordinary poetry books, sharp public speaking, and sterling scholarship, I cannot recommend Muriel enough."

Jacqueline Barnes

"Muriel Leung’s powerful new collection renders visible the liminal space of the Asian American, an occupied territory in which every silence, every potentiality, hums with the white noise of other people’s imaginings. Leung’s innovative poetics implicate the reader in the challenge of forming a post-immigrant self, caught between the competing imperatives of authenticity and assimilation: ‘And I am not even legible to myself. Cannot even English my way out.’ To hear a new lyric voice emerge from the swarm is thrilling and inutterably moving."

Monica Youn Author of Blackacre

"Muriel Leung’s BONE CONFETTI is a ravishing fever dream of an elegy that mourns both a mother figure and history. Leung’s poems can be unbearably intimate yet also epic, traversing into the speculative and gothic, as she animates her grief into a macabre and exquisitely haunted underworld much like Osip Mandelstam’s TRISTIA. In this book of specters, there are so many sonorous, uncanny, and sorrowful lines that inspire me to think and feel as Leung meditates on the politics of mourning and the ineluctable impossibility of happiness. BONE CONFETTI inaugurates a unique voice that will gain lasting prominence in American letters."

Cathy Park Hong Author of Minor Feelings

“Muriel Leung’s IMAGINE US, THE SWARM offers seven powerful texts that form constellation of voices, forms, and approaches to confront loneliness, silence, and death. In a varied range of physical and poetic shapes and typography, Leung creates a lyric informed by theory, autobiography, and essay. One finds in the margins of this book deep dimensional portals of thought that resonate wildly. Wise and inventive, this book leads one deep into psychic regions oft unplumbed. Its rigors are complex and yet a reader feels nothing so much as invited in, and the rewards are plentiful and profound.”

Kazim Ali Judge’s Citation for The Nightboat Books Poetry Prize