Poetry and the Imaginary Landscape: A Virtual Class with John McCarthy

Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 9:00am
The Loft Literary Center
1011 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415
United States


"Poetry and the Imaginary Landscape," a virtual class hosted by the Loft Literary Center, will be taught by John McCarthy, author of Scared Violent Like Horses. Register here.


How do we express conventional emotions with language in new and imaginative ways, especially in our poetry? In this class, we’ll examine the relationship between similes, metaphors, personification, and syntax, learning how to make certain lyrical moves within our own narratives in order to achieve those transcendent moments that make great poems memorable.

After deep-diving into the imagination quadrant of Gregory Orr’s poetic framework, we will read and discuss the work of Tracy K. Smith, Kim Addonizio, Dorianne Laux, Danez Smith, Ruth Awad, Bruce Snider, Brian Barker, and Ocean Vuong, among others. We will dissect the lyrical devices and apply them to our own work by invoking figurative connections to the unexpected use of like objects and emotions as well as landscapes. A reading packet of poems will be provided before class begins. A prior reading of the poems is not required, as we will read and discuss them in class; a good portion of class time will be dedicated to generative writing.