‘I Know That is Poetry’: A Reading & Writing Workshop

‘I Know That is Poetry’: A Reading & Writing Workshop

Explore the work of Emily Dickinson for inspiration in your own writing.

*  To ensure the safety of our tutors and students, this course will take place on video-conferencing platform Zoom *

‘If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?’ – Emily Dickinson

How do we know ‘that is poetry’? We will explore this question in a course that examines the work of nineteenth century American poet, Emily Dickinson. The sessions will demystify the mythology around Dickinson by looking at some of her letters and poems and asking how did the great American poet develop her unique and ground-breaking poetics? What poetry did she read and how did she adopt and challenge it in her own poems?  What role did friendship, mentorship, and family life play in her devotion to poetry? And how did she manage to be so prolific?  Discussions and close readings will be used as a springboard for the participant’s own creative writing. In these sessions, participants will be given prompts based on Dickinson’s poems and letters to encourage the use of Dickinson’s poetics in their own poetry. They will have the opportunity to share these poems in a supportive environment.

The first Zoom session will be filled with reading and group discussions about Dickinson’s life, letters, and poetry. At the end of the session, participants will be set various writing prompts and exercises to begin in class and then complete at home. The next session will be a Zoom based workshop where we will discuss your poems, offer feedback, and help you develop them.

Wednesdays 16 & 30 June, 6.30–9pm. The course will take place using the video conferencing platform Zoom.

More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

Image Credit: Taylor Wright

About Eve Grubin View Profile

Eve Grubin is the author of a book of poems, Morning Prayer (Sheep Meadow Press), and a pamphlet, The House of Our First Loving (Rack Press). She is writing a PhD thesis on Emily Dickinson and the Poetics of Reticence. She teaches at NYU in London.

'The Poetry School courses inspire and motivate me to write more, and I feel part of a wider, global community of people who love poetry, words, and language.'

– Autumn 2020 survey response

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