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Nov. 13–Dec. 18, 2021 Poetic Origins & Process: Exploring the Mysteries of Beginnings and Composition with Jude Nutter is a Course

Nov. 13–Dec. 18, 2021 Poetic Origins & Process: Exploring the Mysteries of Beginnings and Composition with Jude Nutter

Time limit: 100 days

Spots remaining: 5

$700 Enroll

Full course description



Poetic Origins & Process: Exploring the Mysteries of Beginnings and Composition (Six-Week Workshop) 

Jude Nutter, Instructor 




Saturdays on Zoom, November 13–December 18, 2021 

11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Iowa/Central Time (12:00–3:00 p.m. Eastern; 9:00 a.m.–12:00 noon Pacific; 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Mountain) 




Course Description 


According to Rilke a poem is not born from a single thought or perception, but from a life lived with attention and intensity.  And yet common sense tells us that poems do have origins.  —Richard Jones 


Where does a poem come from? What is behind the imperative of a poem’s origins? How do you actually discover the poem’s true subject and begin making more conscious technical/craft choices? 


This six-week class explores the mysteries of a poem’s genesis and the process of its composition. The word “process” is key, as it implies a long, perhaps difficult, unfolding of thought and material. Suitable for poets at all levels, this class is a mix of reading, writing, workshop, and discussion. Reading (short) weekly essays by master poets on the genesis of a single poem will allow us to explore/discuss the origins of poems in general, and of your own poems in particular. Weekly writing prompts will enable you to generate new material and you will be encouraged (with helpful feedback/hints and exercises) to keep two of these poems “in process” for the duration of the class, essentially, re-visioning, reworking, and deepening the poem. Craft issues (the work of line breaks, images, diction, rhythm, etc.) will be addressed as we workshop your poems and explore a weekly craft poem. 


By the end of the classyou will be able to articulate insights about the origins of your own poems and about your choices in composition as your poems come into focus.  


Our class meets weekly for three hours on Zoom. Readings will be sent electronically via email. Each week, there will be time to share/workshop new work generated during the class, or for older work that you might have revised because of the class. Poems for workshop should be submitted to the group ahead of class meetings, if possible, so that we all have a copy to look at and time to read and think about the work. Logistics for this will be covered during the first session! 


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




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 (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 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. 


Enrollment for this course opens Wednesday, October 27, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time.


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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