“My book is for everybody, but I really hope there’re young, black, gay, or queer men that get this book in their hands,” says the poet Danez Smith. Who do you hope will get their hands on your poems? Are you writing for a reader you know, for people from your community, or for people who haven’t even been born? We will approach with these questions of readership by studying Danez Smith, Lynn Xu, Walt Whitman, and other poets whose work engages many distinct audiences. Then we’ll consider who we most want to read our poems, and work together on writing exercises as we strive to craft work that intimately engages our most necessary readers. You will write a new poem for each class and receive feedback that will help you revise for an audience.
Liza Flum’s poems appear in Narrative, The Southeast Review, Lambda Literary, The Collagist and other journals. She is a recipient of a Barbara Deming Individual Artist Grant, and her work has been supported by fellowships from the Saltonstall Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. Currently a PhD student in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah, where she is a Vice Presidential Research Fellow, she works as a poetry editor for Omnidawn Publishing.
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