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The Persona Poem: Craft Talk and Workshop with Kathleen Winter (via Zoom)

September 26, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

During the pandemic most of us have lived in altered ways—whether that means being home an unusual amount of time, or continuing to work outside the home but with more peril and anxiety due to the virus, or losing some of our “normal” life and routines, or perhaps taking on entirely new roles (for example, as homeschooling teachers). We’ve had to make the best of these changes without choosing them. But what if, through poetry, we got to select the new roles we want to experiment with, and determine how to inhabit them?
This craft discussion and workshop will explore examples of persona poetry, in which the poet writes from an identity that’s different from their ordinary lives and daily mindset. Packets of example poems will be provided before the workshop, as well as writing prompts. We’ll think together about how (and why) to explore and inhabit a different character from ourselves in a poem. This practice can be a relief, a joy, a revelation and empowerment. Writing in a persona can be a useful means to escape writer’s block, combat boredom, break out of our familiar writing patterns and vary our tone. We’ll examine craft choices relevant to persona poems, discuss ethical considerations, try out some writing exercises, and then you’ll share your persona poetry. I look forward to our experiments together!
This class will be held on Zoom. Login instructions will arrive via email as soon as you register, to whatever email address you use to register. Please check your spam or promotions folder and save the zoom link. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Kathleen Winter is a California-based writer who grew up in Texas. She’s the author of three award-winning poetry collections: Transformer (2020), judge’s prize for the Hilary Tham Collection at The Word Works; I will not kick my friends, winner of the Elixir Prize; and Nostalgia for the Criminal Past, winner of the Antivenom Prize and the Texas Institute of Letters Bob Bush Memorial Award. Her chapbook Cat’s Tongue is forthcoming in 2022 from Texas Review Press. Kathleen’s poems and short fiction are forthcoming or have appeared in The New Republic, The New Statesman, Poetry London, Five Points, Agni, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Prairie Schooner, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She was granted fellowships by Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Dora Maar House, James Merrill House, Cill Rialaig Project and Vermont Studio Center. Her awards include the Poetry Society of America The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award, the Rochelle Ratner Memorial Prize, and the Ralph Johnston Fellowship at University of Texas’s Dobie Paisano Ranch. Kathleen teaches creative writing at Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College, and is an associate editor for the journal 32 Poems. Kathleen lives in rural Sonoma County with her husband and their tremendous dog.

Scholarships are available for this course. For more information on how to apply (fall applications are due August 15, 2021) visit our Scholarships page. 


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September 26, 2021
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States