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Orion Online Poetry Workshop with Diana Marie Delgado

October 12, 2022 - November 16, 2022


The course: You, Who the Earth Was For 

Jean Valentine, the great symbolist poet, left us an eternal reminder: “you / who the earth was for.” As a time-sensitive traveler of this earth, a journey that demands adaptation and acceptance of sometimes brutal truths, how do we connect the wisdom of our individual experience to the natural world around us? Our class will explore book-length approaches to writing the self in the natural world, including selections from the work of Harryette Mullen, Derek Jarman, and Luis Alberto Urrea. These readings will explore how your personal viewpoint or relationship to your immediate environment can enlarge a place, and through a speaker’s revelations, mirror the turbulence and peace of the natural world. This is a hybrid-text class; poetic forms such as haibun and tanka will be considered alongside the journal/diary as a literary gesture capable of intensity and velocity on the page. This class is also rooted in the belief that writing about place and nature can adopt numerous forms, from succinct to grandiose; and we will try as many as we can. The class will consist of discussions around assigned text and generative writing prompts. Participants will be asked to make observations in peer work, and exchange feedback in communal and supportive ways. Homework will consist of spending time in the natural world and documenting observations that connect to craft topics on our reading list.

The instructor: Diana Marie Delgado’s first collection, Tracing the Horse was a New York Times Noteworthy Pick and follows the coming-of-age of a young Chicana making sense of who she is amidst a family and community weighted by violence and addiction. Delgado’s latest project, Like a Hammer Across the Page: Poets on Mass Incarceration in America, is under contract with Haymarket. She is a graduate of Columbia University and is the literary director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center. (Photograph by Felicia Zamora)

Duration: This class meets over six consecutive Wednesdays from 6-9 pm, ET.

Application period: September 10-25



October 12, 2022
November 16, 2022
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