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July 16–July 18, 2021. Poetry: Writing Alone Together — A Retreat for Generating New Poems with Susan Aizenberg is a Course

July 16–July 18, 2021. Poetry: Writing Alone Together — A Retreat for Generating New Poems with Susan Aizenberg

Time limit: 60 days

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Full course description


Writing Alone Together: A Weekend Retreat for Generating New Poems with Susan Aizenberg (Weekend Workshop)


Friday, July 16–Sunday July 18, 2021

Friday on Zoom, 7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Iowa/Central Time (8:00–9:00 Eastern; 5:00–6:00 Pacific; 6:00–7:00 Mountain) Introductory meeting

Saturday and Sunday on Zoom, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Iowa/Central Time (11:00–4:00 Eastern; 8:00–1:00 Pacific; 9:00–2:00 Mountain)

Fee: $300

Course Description

We all know that writing poems is a solitary activity, but it’s often exhilarating and useful to generate work toward new poems by responding to “no-fault” prompts and exercises in a supportive and energizing group of fellow poets. We’ll spend our weekend doing just that: free-writing together in response to proven prompts designed to inspire new poems and new ideas for poems on which we’ve been working and sharing exercises in a no-pressure exchange as a way of discovering their “gifts”—those possibilities for development and more writing.

We’ll read and discuss the work of other poets for inspiration and models. We’ll meet on Zoom Friday evening to get to know one another a little and go over our plans for the next two days. On Saturday and Sunday we’ll work together from 10-3, taking a one-hour break for lunch each day. Saturday night is your time to use as you please, whether it’s to relax or do some additional reading and writing on your own, for which I’ll be glad to offer suggestions. Our goal will be to spend the weekend in pleasurable, creative activity and for you to finish the workshop feeling inspired, with exciting drafts and ideas for new work. This workshop is open to poets at all levels of experience. 


Susan Aizenberg is the author most recently of First Light, a chapbook-length collection of poems published in June 2020 by Gibraltar Editions in a limited letterpress edition with original linocuts by artist Kevin Bowman. She also is the author of two full-length collections, Quiet City, published by BkMk Press in 2015, and Muse, published in the Crab Orchard Poetry Series in 2002, as well as co-editor, with Erin Belieu, of The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia University Press 2001). Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, among them Blackbird, Plume, The Night Heron Barks, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry, On the Seawall, Connotation Press, The Journal, and Bosque, and have been reprinted in several anthologies, most recently A Constellation of Kisses (Terrapin Press 2019.) Her awards include a Crab Orchard Poetry Series Award, the VCU 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. Aizenberg is professor emerita of Creative Writing and English at Creighton University and now lives and writes in Iowa City, where she’s taught workshops at the Iowa Writers’ House and in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

Registration & Fees

The fee for this course is $300. Payment in full is required to register.

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.”

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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