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The Line as a Unit of Attention: a Master Class with Jennifer Jean (via Zoom)

April 30 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Robert Frost said (I’m paraphrasing) that the final poem in a collection is the book itself. In the same way, if a line is a unit of attention in a poem, the final line of the poem is the poem itself. But–let’s go back to the line! A line is the basic item which separates a work of poetry from a work of prose, so it’s really important! It’s a unit of attention for the reader–a unit to be “given” attention–which can be taken out of the poem and looked at by itself (though it may stand there aquiver, a bit exposed, and squinting at the spotlight). Is that line musical, sensical, fantastical, moody? Does it hold its own and if no–why not? In this masterclass, instructor Jennifer Jean will discuss lines from poems by Lucille Clifton, Dorianne Laux, Adrian Matjka, and others as a way to focus students’ attention on the line when they read, and when they write, fabulous poetry.

NB: This class will be taught on Zoom and will be capped at 20 students. Registrants will receive the Zoom link to the email address they use to register. It will arrive immediately after registration so please check your spam folder if you do not receive it. It will also be sent the day before class as a reminder. Please review the course policies page before registering for any classes. Please email ask @writerscenter.org with any questions.

Jennifer Jean‘s newest poetry collection is VOZ (Lily Books). Other collections include The Fool (Big Table), and Object Lesson (Lily Books) which explores sex-trafficking and objectification in America. She’s also released the teaching resource Object Lesson: a Guide to Writing Poetry (Lily Books). Her poetry, prose, and co-translations have appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Common, On the Seawall, Waxwing, Terrain, and as an Academy of American Poets “Poem-a-Day.” She’s been awarded fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Disquiet/Dzanc Books, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council; as well, she received an Ambassador for Peace Award from the Women’s Federation for World Peace. Jennifer curates and hosts the popular Wilder Words reading series, and she edits poetry for Talking Writing and translations for Consequence Forum. As an arts administrator, she’s an organizer for the Her Story Is collective which fosters collaborations between Iraqi and American women artists and she’s the program manager of 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center’s online writing program.


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April 30
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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