Craft Seminar: Tug-of-War – On Form in Free Verse Poetry with Carl Phillips

Sunday, November 1, 2020 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Registration is available through our partner The Shipman Agency. Please note that all class times are in Eastern Standard Time, not Arizona Time. 


1 Session: Sunday, November 1
2:00-5:00PM EST
Carl Phillips

“It’s a human need, to give to shapelessness a form.” When we think of form in poetry, things like sonnets and sestinas and rhyme and meter usually come to mind. But EVERY poem comes down to patterned language, which means that EVERY poem has a form. This is especially true with free verse poetry – yes, it’s free from traditional patterning, but in many ways free verse has to be more creative with form because it has to make up its form as it gets written. In this class, we will look at the patterning devices that free verse uses, and we will look at how they get used in poems that I’ll provide, and we will look at how to use these patterning devices as tools for revising those poems that you’ve written that somehow just don’t seem to take flight.

Carl Phillips is the author of 15 books of poetry, most recently Pale Colors in a Tall Field (FSG, 2020). His other books include Wild Is the Wind (FSG, 2018), winner of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, called it “haunting and contemplative as the torch song for which the collection is named.” His selected poems, Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006, was published by FSG in 2007. Other books include The Tether (FSG, 2002), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Double Shadow (FSG, 2012), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Silverchest (FSG, 2014), a finalist for the Griffin Prize. He recently published a chapbook, Star Map with Action Figures (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019). A four time finalist for the National Book Award,  and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, his other honors include the Lambda Literary Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation Poetry Award, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the Academy of American Poets, for which he served as Chancellor from 2006-2012.

His literary criticism and translations include The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination (Graywolf, 2014), Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry (Graywolf, 2004), and Sophocles’s Philoctetes (Oxford University Press, 2004).