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Pushing the Poetic Metaphor with Suzanne Parker

February 23 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm


Pushing the Metaphor: a craft talk/workshop combination.  There will be a prompt folded into a craft talk.

The unconscious instinct that is metaphor is thrilling and one of poetry’s greatest tools. Through the associations metaphor brings to your writing, it adds complexity, tension, and thrusts the poem into the unexpected. However, often, we each have our own “unconscious vocabulary”: the images and comparisons that spring frequently to mind. This workshop will explore pushing past these limits. We will look at writing that leaps and twists and settles in unexpected places. We will do prompts that challenge us to take greater risks in our work, and we’ll discuss your poems, examining how metaphor and its associative power enriches and serves the poems and how it might also lead them to new places. Finally, you will leave with prompts to keep you writing and playing with the power of metaphor!!

Suzanne Parker is a poet, non-fiction writer, editor, and writing teacher/coach. Her chapbook, Feed, was a winner of the Sunken Gardens Poetry Chapbook Award and was published in summer 2016 by Tupelo Press. Her poetry collection, Viral, was a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award and was published by Alice James Books in Sept. 2013. A sequence of poems from the book was published in Hunger Mountain and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Viral was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry and was also included on the American Library Association’s Rainbow List of recommended books of 2013.

Her poetry has appeared in Drunken Boat, Hunger Mountain, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Rattapallax, and numerous other journals, and she is a winner of the Alice M. Sellars Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a Poetry Fellow at the Prague Summer Seminars.

Suzanne’s creative non-fiction is published in the travel anthology Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing by the Univ. of Wisconsin Press.

Suzanne serves on the editorial board of Alice James Books. She is also a poetry editor at MEAD: A Magazine of Literature and Libations. www.meadmagazine.org. She directs the creative writing program at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ, and is a part of the MFA faculty at Manhattanville College in NY.

About Viral, Suzanne has said: “The book focuses on homophobia, technology, and bullying as realized through the tragedy of the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the gay Rutger’s University student who took his own life after having his privacy violated by his roommate. I very much want this book to start conversations and reach an audience that needs to know they are not alone. I’ve traveled across the US to give readings from and discuss the book in colleges, community centers, high schools, and more, as well as visited with book clubs and given radio and tv interviews in the hope that it will reach those in need. I want this book to be much more than a collection of poetry. Many have spoken with me about how it has reflected their own or their child’s or friend’s experiences of otherness and bullying. I hope that the book helps to let people start to talk and share and support one another in their experiences.”


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February 23
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States