In this online workshop we’ll generate both love and “anti-love” poems. Through weekly exercises and prompts, we’ll explore the origins of our happiness and heartache, the way loneliness and love—for self, others, objects, countries, worlds—form and dissolve and how these feelings may exist as products of the various modern systems in which we find ourselves. Experimenting with different formal techniques will help us to think through not only the fact that we are loving and not loving, but also how we are doing so. Poets whose work we will read and discuss to help us think through our own writing include T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, Sharon Olds, Bernadette Mayer, Li-Young Lee and Vanessa Angelica Villarreal. Weekly work will be done asynchronously on Wet Ink, and the professor will bookend the workshop with a video overview at the beginning and one-on-one Facetime/phone conferences with each student at the end.
Vanessa Jimenez Gabb is the author of Images for Radical Politics, which was the Editor’s Choice in the 2015 Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Contest, and the chapbooks midnight blue and Weekend Poems. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as the Brooklyn Rail, the Poetry Project Newsletter, jubilat, Sixth Finch, VIDA and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, and in 2012 she cofounded the literary project Five Quarterly. She holds an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College–CUNY, where she was the recipient of the 2010 Himan Brown Award, and she has taught English and creative writing at St. John’s University and Newark Academy, where she is currently on faculty. She is from and lives in Brooklyn.