Please note that registration for all Spring 2019 University of Arizona Poetry Center Classes and Workshops opens December 17th, 2018 at 11:00 AM. Registration remains open for each class until it fills.

If the class that interests you does not appear below, it is because the class is fully enrolled. You may be added to a waitlist for the class by emailing the Patri Hadad, the Events Program Coordinator, at

For more details on the Classes & Workshops program and the classes this fall, please visit the Classes and Workshops Current Offerings page of the University of Arizona Poetry Center web site.

Please visit our Registration page to learn about cancellations and refund policies. 

Better Poetry Through Algebra: OULIPO & Unlimited Poetry

Class Meetings: Saturday, April 6 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, in the Poetry Center Conference Room 205. (With 1 hour lunch break) 

"By substituting formidably strict forms for Surrealism's controversial notion of 'total liberty', the OULIPO has created an amazingly beautiful and profound body of literature." - John Ashbery

What good is a game without rules? How ingenious would a jailbreak be without the cell that demanded such ingenuity to escape it?

The irony of freedom is that in liberating us it frees us from the joy of liberation--therefore, it is our mission as poets to self-impose constraints in order to challenge our understanding of and relationship with language. To facilitate this, we'll study the tricks, techniques, and formulas developed by OULIPO to encourage creativity by breaking our well-established poetic tics and tropes. We'll follow in the footsteps of notable OULIPIANS or OULIPO-inspired writers--Raymond Queneau's infinite sonnet, 100,000,000,000 Poems; Georges Perec's 300-page lipogram, A Void; Italo Calvino's Fibonacci-based labyrinth, Invisible Cities; and Harryette Mullen's propulsive N+7s of Shakespeare's sonnets and Walt Disney's America, Sleeping with the Dictionary--in crafting dynamic and linguistically-vigorous poems that will inspire our evolution as poets. In one weekend, through reading, writing exercises, and workshops, we'll bend, break, and bring back to life the English language to the betterment of your work.  

Instructor bio:  

Adam O. Davis is the recipient of the Poetry Society of America's 2016 George Bogin award. He has received grants and fellowships from The Bishop's School, Columbia University, Vermont Studio Center, and Western Michigan University, and his work has appeared in many journals, including The Believer, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and ZYZZYVA. His poetry manuscript, Index of Haunted Houses, has been a finalist for publication by Barrow Street Press, Cleveland State Press, Colorado State University's Center for Literary Publishing, New Issues Press, Sarabande Books, and Tupelo Press. He lives in San Diego, California, where he teaches English literature and composition at The Bishop's School.

University of Arizona Poetry Center