Susan Aizenberg


Susan Aizenberg is the author of three full-length poetry collections: A Walk with Frank O’Hara and Other Poems (forthcoming from University of New Mexico Press in the Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series) Quiet City (BkMk Press 2015) and Muse (Crab Orchard Poetry Series 2002). Her most recent collection, First Light, is a fine arts letterpress collection of 11 poems with original linocuts by artist Kevin Bowman (Gibraltar Editions 2020). Aizenberg is also the author of Peru in Take Three: 2/AGNI New Poets Series (Graywolf Press 1997), and co-editor, with Erin Belieu, of The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia University Press 2001). Her awards include a Crab Orchard Poetry Series Award, the Levis Reading Prize, a Distinguished Artist Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Book Award, and the Mari Sandoz Award from the Nebraska Library Association. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, among them On the Seawall, Plume, The Summerset Review, Nine Mile, Cultural Daily, Hole in the Head Review, Blackbird, The Night Heron Barks, Bosque, The North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, and The Journal, and have been reprinted or are forthcoming in several anthologies, most recently, A Constellation of Kisses (Terrapin Press 2019). Aizenberg is Professor Emerita of Creative Writing and English at Creighton University and now lives and writes in Iowa City. 


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Our Flexible Instruments: Exploring the Uses of Voice in Poetry

Event status
Attendance Required
“Voice”—what poet Tony Hoagland has called “the distinctive presentation of an individual speaker”—can be among the more difficult elements of poetic craft to define or teach, but it’s also one of the most important: a compelling poetic voice engages and connects us to the reader. Developing our voices into what poets Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux have called “a more flexible instrument” also can be an exciting key to generating poems in which we make discoveries that surprise both us and our readers. In this workshop we’ll focus on the concept of voice, both with an eye to expanding what Hoagland calls our poetic “repertoire” and as a mode of generating new poems. We’ll spend our week together writing and sharing new work, in a supportive, no-pressure exchange, in response to exercises designed for voice, as well as reading and discussing the work of other poets for inspiration and models. Our goal will be to spend the week in pleasurable creative activity as we explore the possibilities thinking about voice opens for us, and to discover the gifts that can lead to new poems from the exercises we draft. This is a generative workshop, open to poets at all levels of experience. In this workshop, we will generate new writing through exercises and assignments.
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