Ruin the Cliché: Love Poem
We love love, but often find love poems mired in the thick of cliché and symbol. Inspired by a prompt from Rita Dove, this workshop begins by asking writers to return to a familiar kitchen in memory and carries them through a series of linked exercises to traverse the landscape of their love and loves. As they burn through clichés and unhinge words from their mundane utility, writers will center on love’s particularity and peculiarly. Together we will explore its crackle and thorn, its heft and clot, its jolt and bang, investigating the capacity of metaphor to remind us of the way love lives in the body and to create new ways for us to write love again.
Natalie J. Graham
A native of Gainesville, Florida, Natalie J. Graham earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida and Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University. Her poems have appeared in San Francisco Chronicle, Callaloo, New England Review, and Southern Humanities Review; and her articles have appeared in The Journal of Popular Culture and Transition. She is a Cave Canem fellow and associate professor of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Begin with a Failed Body, her first full-length collection of poems, won the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She is a co-founder of KayJo Creatives, a production company specializing in documentary film, painting, and community arts events. Find her online @NatalieJoGraham.