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Using found materials to write poems with Leah Umansky via Zoom

February 6 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Physical Poetry: Making Found Poems from Newspapers and Magazines
Poetry finds you wherever you may be, in your kitchen, on a walk, at the supermarket, in the shower, or maybe when you are reading the paper, or a magazine. The great joy of a poem is that you never know when inspiration will strike!
Some poets start with an idea, others with a first line or title, but often the best poems come when there is less pressure. First, find the words that speak to you in a magazine or newspaper, cut them out, and paste them on a page to craft your poem.  This way, the language is first and the idea is secondary; however, the most important part is that  you are enjoying the physicality of the poem you are creating. Together, your eyes, your hands and your mind are working together to build something wonderful.
A fun way to craft a poem is to steal from a found source: a magazine or a newspaper. All artists steal; don’t be afraid. In this generative workshop, we will be using your own found sources, (newspapers and magazines) to take found language to create our own  ‘found poems.’


By the end of the workshop, you will have several poems to choose from, but only time to workshop one.  Most of this workshop will be based around short poetry prompts, arranged mostly by topic, where you will use your newspaper or magazine to cut out words and phrases that speak to you.


Supplies: a clear surface, such as a table or desk, some paper, a scissor, and glue or tape, so you can create your found poems.

NB: This is a one-day generative writing workshop taught on Zoom and capped at 15 students.

Please make sure to read our course policies page regarding workshop conduct and logistics before registering for any class at HVWC.

Scholarship information will be available for this class in November.

Leah Umansky has been an English teacher for 15 years and has taught workshops to writers of all ages in such places as The Poetry School (UK), and Hudson Valley Writers Center as well as Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Visible Ink Program. She is also the author of two full length collections, The Barbarous Century (2018), Domestic Uncertainties (Blazevox, 2012), and two chapbooks, Straight Away the Emptied World (Kattywompus Press, 2016), and the Mad-Men inspired Don Dreams and I Dream (Kattywompus Press, 2014). Her writing has been widely published in such places as The New York Times, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A Day, USA Today, POETRY, Guernica, and American Poetry Review. She has been the host and curator of the NYC based poetry series COUPLET since 2011 and is a graduate of the MFA Program in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also a collage-artist who has designed all of her book covers.


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February 6
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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