Skip To Content
April 12–May 10, 2021. Five New Poems: A Generative Workshop for All Levels with Diana Goetsch is a Course

April 12–May 10, 2021. Five New Poems: A Generative Workshop for All Levels with Diana Goetsch

Time limit: 50 days

Sorry! The enrollment period is currently closed. Please check back soon.

Full course description


Five New Poems: A Generative Workshop for All Levels with Diana Goetsch (Five-Week Workshop)


Mondays on Zoom, April 12–May 10, 2021

6:00–9:00 p.m. Central Time (7:00–10:00 Eastern; 4:00–7:00 Pacific; 5:00–8:00 Mountain)

Fee: $600

Course Description

A five-week immersion in the act of generating poetry, with a veteran, award-winning poet known for generously sharing her practice. We’ll look at the many ways poems can arrive, and how we can cultivate our receptivity to them. We will learn ways to broaden our range (in terms of style, voice, and content) and how to approach elusive and overwhelming subjects. For each assignment there will be models, allowing us to put into practice the principle that every great poem is a treatise on how to write a great poem. Our goal (first drafts of five new poems) will be reached or exceeded with surprising ease.

Class structure and objectives:

Each session will be dedicated to starting a new poem—but also a new kind of poem. To do this, I will introduce models, give several different options and prompts, and we will write together, and explore possibilities—taking advantage of the small size of the group. Most workshops teach craft at the revision stage, through critique; here we will learn craft at the point of creation, speaking in terms of possibility. We will also look at the poems we started the previous week and drafted in the interim and discuss their possibilities. The atmosphere will be stimulating and supportive, appropriate for poems being born. The homework for each week will be simple: finish the poem you started. Each poet will have the option of a 30-minute Zoom conference with Diana toward the end of the course to discuss their writing and their progress.


Diana Goetsch is the author of eight collections of poems and the memoir This Body I Wore forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her writing has appeared in leading journals, anthologies and newspapers including The New Yorker, Poetry, Gettysburg Review, The American Scholar, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, Best American Poetry, and the Pushcart Prize. Diana’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Grace Paley Teaching Fellowship at The New School, and the Donald Murray prize for writing pedagogy. She has taught for nineteen years at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Currently she teaches a weekly Zoom webinar called Actually Writing, which has been attended by hundreds of people on multiple continents. Her website is

Registration & Fees

The fee for this course is $600. Payment in full is required to register.

Registration for this course opens at 12:00 noon Central Time, Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Class size is limited to 10.

Note: Your credit card payment will be processed by an external provider and will appear on your credit card statement as “UI Writing—Magid Center.” 

Cancellation Policy

A $100 cancellation fee will be applied to refunds for cancellations received by Monday, April 5, 2021. Thereafter, no refunds are available. 

Terms & Community Policy

The Iowa Summer Writing Festival is a community built on an assumption of shared enterprise, in the spirit of mutual respect. We reserve the right to a) revoke the registration of or b) dismiss from the program any person who disrupts the learning/working environment of others. Participants in the Festival are subject to all University of Iowa policies governing conduct in our community, whether online or in person.



Contact the Iowa Summer Writing Festival: Phone: (319) 335-4160.

Our tiny staff is working remotely. If you phone and we miss you, please leave a message!