Is the 8.5” x 11” page a restrictive border in a world increasingly surrounded by militarized borders? How do our imaginations and creations shift when a poem is drafted across a wall, or atop a newspaper, or on a drug store receipt, or the inside of a matchbook? In this generative poetry workshop, we will examine how the constraints and limitations of the page impact form and content generation within a poem to create our own borderless poem. Poets will have the opportunity to experiment with form, scale, collage, and visual poetics to generate work that foregrounds their own narrative and celebrates the expression of free movement as form a resistance. All supplies will be provided, free of charge.

If poetry is wrestling into words that which can’t be said in any other way--what are the mechanics of making that happen? This class will study metaphor, contradiction and juxtaposition as techniques that open language as more than a sum of its parts. We’ll read craft essays, deconstruct contemporary poems and use generative exercises to explore how dichotomy can open unique liminal spaces in our own poems. Throughout, we’ll stay grounded in our context as writers in the Sonoran Desert, itself a contradictory space: a lush desert, a beautiful danger, a cultural landscape of humanitarian aide and border wall construction.

University of Arizona Poetry Center