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Letters to Nobody: Understanding Your Audience for the Epistolary Poem with Justin Wymer (via Zoom)

May 2 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm


Join poet and professor, Justin Wymer, as he conducts a one-day craft class on the epistolary poem. All students should bring in one poem that is, in some way, addressed to another person.

In this one-day intensive course, writers will learn how the epistolary (i.e., letter) is a mode of writing that can apply to poetry. We will approach the epistolary poem as a hybrid text written to an indistinct—or very specific—person or thing. By exploring perspective and audience in this type of poem, we will generate poems in unbounded ways, invite in the strange and excessive to our work, balance “facts” and feelings, and even begin producing a poem series that can be used to pattern full-length works and chapbooks. Please bring at least one poem written to another person, as the workshop will incorporate strategies for both revision and generation.

This class is capped at 13 people. PLEASE NOTE that given the current public health directives, this course will be taught online via Zoom.

Justin Wymer is a poet, scholar, and educator. Born and raised in southwestern West Virginia, he holds degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’s Workshop. Currently, he resides in Denver, where he is pursuing a PhD in creative writing and literary arts with a focus on trauma studies and literature of excess and difficulty.

A winner of the 2012 Captain Jonathan Fay Prize from the Radcliffe Institute for best thesis out of any discipline at Harvard College, Wymer has also received awards and fellowships from Harvard Office for the Arts, University of Iowa, University of Denver, Academy of American Poets, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Spanish Ministry for Culture and Sport.

Wymer’s poems, interviews, translations, and essays have appeared in various journals, including The Adroit Journal, Atlantean Poets, Beecher’s, Boston Review‘s Poet Sampler (intro by Peter Sacks, 20 most-read poems of 2013), Columbia: A Journal of  Art and LiteratureConjunctions, Harvard Divinity BulletinKenyon Review, Lana Turner, Manchester Review (UK), Nat. Brut, Poetry Daily, The Rumpus, Souvenir Lit, and THRUSH Poetry Journal, and West Branch, among others. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Foglifter and an anthology on Appalachian labor poetics.

Wymer’s debut full-length collection, Deed, won the 2018 Antivenom Poetry Award, chosen by Jennifer Franklin, and will be published by Elixir Press in 2019.


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May 2
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States