Poetry Workshops for The Writer’s Center (all on ZOOM)

Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, 1-4 p.m.: “A Matter of Time: Verb Tenses and Poetry”

Should all lyric poems take place in the present? If you’re writing a narrative poem about something that happened a while ago, do you have to use the past tense? Verb tenses are something that most of us learned in grade school but haven’t thought much about since. For a poet, being able to identify the various tenses isn’t the point; it’s knowing how to choose the right tense for a poem and knowing when to shift it. This workshop will examine some of the approaches that poets have used to control and manipulate the passage of time in their poems, with an emphasis on how verb tenses can be used to add immediacy, introduce tension, or bring a poem to life.

Sunday, March 13, 2022, 1-4 p.m.: “What Is a Prose Poem and Why Would You Want to Write One?”

What is it about the prose poem that has, on the one hand, so many readers and writers scratching their heads and, on the other, so many contemporary poets flocking to the form? In this workshop, we will try to define exactly what a prose poem is and how it differs from flash fiction, literary prose, and free verse with the line breaks removed. We will also discuss why, If you’ve never written a prose poem, you might want to try your hand at a form that has puzzled and attracted so many.

Sunday, April 24, 2022, 1-4 p.m.: “What Sound Effects Can Do for Your Poetry”

Assonance, consonance, alliteration, internal rhyme—they’re often called “sound effects,” and they are among the most basic and essential tools that all poets should know how to use. This workshop will focus on how certain vowel or consonant sounds can be used to evoke or underscore emotion in a poem, and how sound effects can help you convey your poem’s “message” in a subtle, convincing way.

For more information, visit or call 301-654-8664