The Art of Craft 2015: A series of craft talks for writers and teachers and workshops for poets

The Art of Craft:
A series of craft talks for writers and teachers and workshops for poets
Mentor: Elliott batTzedek, MFA
Location: Big Blue Marble Bookstore
Thursday April 16th- Thursday May 21st, 7-9 pm

Considering an MFA? Wondering how to take your poetry to the next level? Try on MFA-style learning with this series of craft talks and focused workshops. Each week we’ll focus on a different element of poetic craft, first in the work of great contemporary poets and then in our own writing.

The cost for the entire series of 6 classes and workshops is $300. In honor of National Poetry Month, if you and a friend sign up together you’ll each save 1/3 – $400 total price for both of you!

If you are a teacher, or avid poetry reader, you can attend only the 6 one-hour craft talks for $150. Special discounts for Bring-A-Friend and for Philadelphia public school teachers. Please contact me for more information.


April 16th Thinking Like a Poet

We begin by exploring HOW a poem works, considering formal strategies, language, diction, time and space, music and clatter, movement and grounding

April 23rd A Density of Sound

How does the poem sing? What is the chatter, the clatter, the smooth move, the structure, the improv? How do poets use sound to structure the poem and to convey its emotion, context, meaning, and urgency?

April 30th Spines and Joints

What is the central axis of your poem? Where does it bend, rotate, flex? How and when do other voices/views come into the poem?

May 7th Measuring Meter

The inherent meters of English live in everything we write. We’ll study how meter controls the pace and meaning of poems, and how to use meter as a tool for revising.

May 14th Walking the Line

Never again worry about where to put in line breaks—because lines don’t break. Lines end, when their work in the poem is complete. Break the myth of the break, and free your lines to be the great engines of your writing.

May 21st Case Study: The Persona Poem

Persona poems, or poems that speak in a first person voice that is clearly not the voice of the poet, have been adapted to many interesting uses in the past decades. We’ll look at some of the most original and most startling voices, while considering structural issues such as how poets enter and leave the persona poem.

Mentor: Elliott batTzedek, MS, MFA

Elliott batTzedek holds an MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation from Drew University where she studied with Alicia Ostriker, Ross Gay, Joan Larkin, Anne Marie Macari, and Ellen Doré Watson. Her translation manuscript of Dance of the Lunatic by the Israeli Jewish lesbian writer Shez won the 2012 Robert Bly Translation prize, judged by Martha Collins. She is also the recipient of a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Award and residencies at Norcroft and Vermont Studio Arts Center. She is the co-leader and liturgist for Fringes, a poetry-based monthly Jewish prayer service. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the journals: American Poetry Review, Massachusetts Review, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, DoubleSpeak, Menacing Hedge, Armchair/Shotgun, Adanna Literary Journal, Trivia, Naugatuck River Review, Lambda Literary Online, and Sinister Wisdom, and in the anthologies: Passageways: the 2012 Two Lines Translation Anthology, Overplay/Underdone, The Lake Rises and Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence. Other Shez translations are forthcoming in the English edition of the 2013 Hebrew anthology Israeli Women’s Protest Poetry ed. by Dorit Weisman. She blogs about poetry and translation at


3 thoughts on “The Art of Craft 2015: A series of craft talks for writers and teachers and workshops for poets

  1. Pingback: November, 2013 – I become a Writer-in-Residence! | This Frenzy

  2. Pingback: “How a Poem Means” class takes on Terrance Hayes’ “Sonnet” | This Frenzy

  3. Pingback: The Art of Craft: a series of craft classes for writers, readers, and teachers | This Frenzy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s