Are We There Yet? Pacing and Payoff in Narrative Verse

A special one-day course from Adrian Matejka.  SOLD OUT!  To join the waitlist, email Classes and Workshops Coordinator Brian Blanchfield at

Narrative poems are intimately connected to the art of storytelling because the best narrative poems employ storytelling devices—plot, climax, resolution, even character development—to convey their particular moments and surprises. Like a good story, narrative poems also require appropriate pacing and they reward us for our attention. In this class, we are going to talk about ways we can can reward our readers for their attention through storytelling strategies. We will look at poems by Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, and William Matthews as examples of how to tell a story that not only communicates, but also maintains the audience’s interest and attention.