Journals, freewrites, abandoned poem drafts, half-baked prose bits. If your notebook is full of these, this class is for you. If you’re stuck and not sure how to move forward with a larger body of work, this class is for you. In this three-hour seminar we’ll experiment with techniques central to collage and cento using our own jumble of words. First, we’ll draw inspiration from some writers who work in fragmentary, cento, collage, and diaristic forms. In the second half of class, we’ll get physical with our own words. Each student will bring 5-10 pages of their own “compostable” writing—any kind of unfinished poetry or prose—to rework. We’ll search these pages for themes and patterns, memorable phrases and sticky images. We’ll cut and re-order, tape and scribble. By the end of this seminar you’ll leave with a clearer idea of how you might repurpose elements of your unpolished writing for finished work. You’ll also have produced a draft poem or two to revise after this class is over.
Requirements: Please bring two copies of 5-10 pages of your own, rough, unpolished writing. For best results, leave space (at least 2-3 lines) between individual sections/stanzas/paragraphs within your work sample. Your sample can include prose (journal entries, text messages, emails, freewrites, essay drafts) and/or poetry, as long as the work overall is unfinished. Be adventurous and eclectic. Feel free to mash together individual lines and paragraphs from completely unrelated pieces.
Instructors: Annie Kim