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Sense of Witness: Poetry Writing with Danielle Wheeler (Section 2, Summer 2022) is a Course

Sense of Witness: Poetry Writing with Danielle Wheeler (Section 2, Summer 2022)


$475 Enroll

Full course description

Please note that there is a separate application process for this course. If you have not been accepted into this course by the Iowa Young Writers' Studio you are not eligible to enroll.


Sense of Witness: Poetry and Perception is an online poetry writing class for high school students.  This course takes inspiration from the poet Muriel Rukeyser, who preferred to call her readers “witnesses” because it was more active: [it] “includes the act of seeing or knowing by experience.” In this six-week course, we’ll be witnesses: to each others writing, to the poems of poets like Rukeyser, Bei Dao, and Audre Lorde, to what is happening around us… and to our inner selves. We’ll ask  ourselves: how does one witness the self? How have poets, historically, witnessed themselves and the world in their work? How do we witness what is happening the world? And how does this all influence our writing? Along the way, we’ll experiment with style, form, inspiration, and voice, and you’ll produce work that will be workshopped and considered by your instructor and your classmates. You'll learn basic concepts and techniques of poetic craft and emerge with some fresh writing and some workshopped pieces. No prior poetry writing experience is required, though it certainly can’t hurt. Come with a willingness to read, write, and thoughtfully consider the work of others. (Students will be required to complete weekly assignments and participate regularly in group discussions).    


This online course is primarily asynchronous, meaning that students can complete the assignments and post in the discussion forums on their own schedules in their free time. It is important to note that even though students will be able to do the assignments on their own schedules, at any hour of the day or night, they will have to meet weekly deadlines. There may be some live classes only if all students in the class are able to attend. Because students who take these courses live all over the world, in many different time zones, and have complex daily schedules, live classes are not always possible. 


Danielle Wheeler was the 2010-2011 Rona Jaffe fellow in poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She currently lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she teaches writing and literature--these days mostly online. Her first chapbook, Teenage Exorcists, was released in 2015.




The fee for this course is $475. Payment in full is required to enroll in the course.


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, June 6, 2022. Thereafter, no refunds are available. 



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