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Online Poetry Writers’ Workshop with Amber Flora Thomas

January 9, 2022 - February 13, 2022


The Course: Catastrophe Poetry: Writing the Crisis in Nature Poetry

Please join me for a workshop in writing catastrophe poetry. That sounds very bleak. How about joining me for a poetry workshop and we will try to not write about the climate crisis and global warming? We won’t go so far as to write pastoral poetry because this workshop is for poets who grapple with the specter of catastrophes every day because we are paying attention. We have survived hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, pandemics, and sudden unbelievable flooding, just to name a few recent calamities. This is how we live now: swimming against the current of change. For us, a tree was never just a tree, rather, the foliage of a wilderness, a generator of the air we breathe, a home to creatures, and that which is threatened in the wild places we hold so dear.

Let’s take a journey in this workshop and explore how to write through the darkness of this present moment and find beauty, even while the losses confound us. This course is designed to welcome advanced, intermediate, and beginning poets to a constructive and supportive workshop where we will share poems written during our six-week course, as well as poems for manuscripts-in-progress. I will share weekly writing prompts designed to introduce participants to structures and topics important in environmental poetry, eco poetry, and of course, nature poetry. Workshop will be held online over six Sundays and include discussion of assigned reading and participants’ poems. Additionally, I will meet with each participant for a one-on-one conference to discuss a 5-10-page selection of poems.

The Instructor: Amber Flora Thomas is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She earned her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She is the author of Eye of Water: Poems which was selected by Harryette Mullen as the winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her other books include, The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems and Red Channel in the Rupture: Poems. She has taught at the Cave Canem annual retreat and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Sewanee Writers Conference. Her poetry has appeared in The New England Review, Tin House, Ecotone, Callaloo, Orion Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Saranac Review, and Third Coast, as well as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and numerous other journals and anthologies. Currently, she resides in Washington, North Carolina with her dog and three cats. Photo by Bobby Davis.

Duration: This class meets once a week over six consecutive Sundays from 3-6 pm ET.

How to Apply: The application period is closed.


January 9, 2022
February 13, 2022
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Orion Workshops
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