“Do I Dare Disturb/ the Universe?” : Writing Long or Linked Poems

November 10-13, 2016
Faculty: Maya Jewell Zeller and Laura Read


In his narrative lyric “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T.S. Eliot sustains a singular voice through 140 lines and teaches us what it means to “disturb the universe.” In this class, we’ll begin by looking at successful examples of linked or long poems, then we’ll lead you through a series of generative exercises meant to stretch your narrative, lyric, meditative, and dramatic powers and to produce a series of pieces that could work together as one long text or in concert as linked poems.

We’ll then apply revision techniques that will enhance your language for sound and image, workshop our drafts, and help you form a cohesive project. Expect a variety of reading/writing/revising/sharing rhythms and a spirit of collaborative play. Our goal is that you’ll leave our weekend session with an advanced draft of a long poem or series of linked poems.



Thursday, November 10, 2016

  • 5 pm-7 pm: arrival and welcoming.
  • 7 pm-8 pm: opening readings by the faculty

Friday, November 11, 2016

  • 10 am-1 pm: class session

Saturday, November 12, 2016

  • 10 am-1 pm: class session
  • 7-9 pm: evening gathering, conversation, and informal readings

Maya Jewell Zeller

Sunday, November 13, 2016

  • Departure by 11 am



Maya Jewell Zeller teaches poetry and poetics at Central Washington University. She is the author of the poetry collections Rust Fish (Lost Horse Press) and Yesterday, the Bees (Floating Bridge Press), and of several poems and essays, appearing widely. Fiction editor for Crab Creek Review, Maya has also been a writer-in-residence in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and a recipient of a Promise Award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation.



Laura Read

Laura Read has published poems in a variety of journals, most recently in Silk Road Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. Her chapbook, The Chewbacca on Hollywood Boulevard Reminds Me of You, was the 2010 winner of the Floating Bridge Chapbook Award, and her collection, Instructions for My Mother’s Funeral, was the 2011 winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and was published in 2012 by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

She teaches English at Spokane Falls Community College and lives in Spokane with her husband Brad and their two sons, Benjamin and Matthew.