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Because I Said So: When Ambiguity & Authority Conspire with Jennifer Sperry Steinorth via Zoom

August 15 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Free – $124.00

NB: This class has been postponed until 2022. The teacher has had a medical situation and cannot teach on Sunday August 15th.

or…What Can Happen When Your Mother Writes The Poem

Who hasn’t written—perhaps too many times to count— the overly-ambiguous poem? We may have attempted to employ ambiguity intentionally, repressing aspects of narrative we wish to avoid, gravities we haven’t yet defined—only to find our readers can’t find the there there.

In this class we’ll examine the relationship between ambiguity & the authoritative posture in poems that successfully leave us guessing. Reviewing work by Terrance Hayes, Valerie Martinez, Mark Halliday, Wislawa Szymborska, Jenny Johnson, Matthew Olzmann, and others, we’ll consider the conditions under which vagaries, omission, repression and contradiction become vehicles for precision, nuance, complexity and paradox. Together we will test the theory that deft deployment of ambiguity is dependent on an authoritative posture, and then explore ways we can integrate such maneuvers into our own writing.

NB: This class is capped at 12 and will be taught on Zoom. You will receive the link as soon as you register for class and in a reminder  email the morning of the class. It will be sent to the email address you use to register. Please check your spam folder if you do not receive it within five minutes.

The Altman Person of Color Scholarships and the need-based scholarships are free and given on a first come, first served basis for students living and studying in the USA—no more than one every other month. Please notify us right away if your plans change and you cannot attend the class. We will then reopen the slot so another student may register. Please refer to our Scholarships page before registering for Person of Color Scholarship or Need Based Scholarship. Thank you in advance for this consideration.

Jennifer Sperry Steinorth‘s books include A Wake with Nine Shades (Texas Review Press, 2019) and Her Read: A Graphic Poem (TRP, 2021). She has received grants from Vermont Studio Center, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and Community of Writers. Her poetry has recently appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Black Warrior Review, The Cincinnati Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, Poetry Northwest, Pleiades, Rhino, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere.  An interdisciplinary artist and licensed builder, she teaches and designs homes in northern Michigan. Connect at jennifersperrysteinorth.com.


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August 15
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Free – $124.00
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States