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May 12–June 16, 2021. Memory & Imagination: A Workshop for Advanced Poets with Jude Nutter is a Course

May 12–June 16, 2021. Memory & Imagination: A Workshop for Advanced Poets with Jude Nutter

Time limit: 60 days

Spots remaining: 5

$700 Enroll

Full course description


Memory & Imagination: A Workshop for Advanced Poets with Jude Nutter (Six-Week Workshop)


Wednesdays on Zoom May 12–June 16, 2021

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

Fee: $700

Course Description

We live in an age of memoir, and yet poets are still struggling with issues of poetic truth-telling and responsibility; indeed, I believe that poets have always struggled with such concerns because, at its heart, poetry is a medium that often draws on memory, and it is a genre valuing emotional truth over literal truth. Often, it is assumed that poems are purely autobiographical, but in the search for each poem’s emotional truth, and to reveal and carry this emotional truth in their work, poets often create fictions in the service of those truths.

This class is an intensive opportunity for advanced poets* to workshop/explore the relationships between memory and imagination, literal truth and fiction, in their work. It is suitable for poets with a working knowledge of poetic craft who have identified (or suspect) that they are consciously working the borders between poetry and autobiography and for poets who are beginning to question the boundaries and relationships between emotional and literal truth, memory and imagination, person and persona in poems that have an autobiographical imperative.

The workshop will focus on discussion (of set text), serious revision, and weekly in-depth workshopping of poems. Poems to be workshopped should, if possible, be submitted in advance of each workshop meeting. Class participants will be strongly encouraged to make written comments on each other’s work. Because a lot of suggestions/ideas are shared during workshop, it is very helpful if written comments are emailed to each poet after workshop: this helps with revision as each poet can then sift through suggestions in their own time. Advanced craft concerns will be addressed/discussed during workshop, thus connecting form, content, and process. 

The class also includes a 30-minute private Zoom session with Jude; these will take place towards the end of the class. 

 We will use the text After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography, edited by Kate Sontag and David Graham (Graywolf Press). 

 * For the purposes of this class, "advanced" means poets who have a good grasp of poetic craft and technique; a working knowledge of the poetic line, stanza, figurative language, metrics/devices of sound and rhythm, and an understanding of what their main obsessions are (the themes the work gravitates around). Also, I assume advanced poets will have a regular practice of writing and revision (not necessarily daily, but a consistent engagement with their work) and a “body” of work: by this, I don't mean that they should be published, but that they have several finished, or in-progress, poems. Basically, advanced poets should have a writing “practice” and be making informed and conscious choices (about craft and technique) for the sake of the poem.   


Jude Nutter was born in North Yorkshire, England, and grew up near Hannover, in northern Germany. She studied printmaking at Winchester School of Art (UK) and received her MFA in poetry from The University of Oregon. Her poems have appeared in numerous national and international journals and have received over forty awards and grants, including two McKnight Fellowships, The Moth International Poetry Prize, The Larry Levis Prize, The William Matthews Prize, the Joy Harjo Poetry Award, and grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the National Science Foundation’s Writers and Artists Program in Antarctica.  Jude is the author of four full-length collections: Pictures of the Afterlife (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2002), winner of the Irish Listowel Prize; The Curator of Silence (University of Notre Dame Press 2007), winner of the Ernest Sandeen Prize and the 2007 Minnesota Book Award in poetry; I Wish I Had a Heart Like Yours, Walt Whitman (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009), winner of the 2010 Minnesota Book Award in poetry and Poetry Book of the Year from ForeWord Review, New York); and Dead Reckoning (forthcoming from Salmon Press, Ireland, in 2021). Jude divides her time between Minnesota and Dingle, Ireland, where she has a family home.

Registration & Fees

The fee for this course is $700. Payment in full is required to register.

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

Enrollment for this class opens at 11:00 a.m. Central Time, Monday, April 26.

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.” 

Refund & Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your enrollment in a Festival class, please let us know as soon as possible. We can only offer full refunds if you cancel two weeks prior to the start of class. After that, before the start date of class, we can offer a 50% refund. We cannot refund day-of cancellations, and we cannot refund or partially refund tuition once the class has begun.

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.

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