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Orion Online Poetry Writing Workshop with Anne Haven McDonnell

April 1 - May 6


The course

Refreshing Our Wonder/Honoring Our Grief: Eco-Poetry in a Time of Ecological Crisis

How can poetry speak towards our shared and private griefs and wonder in this precarious moment of climate crisis and tenacious beauty? In this workshop, we will gather in haven and refuge to support each other in the exploration of how the ancient, impossible, and utterly necessary language of poetry can meet this moment. Our exploration will include close reading, craft analysis, generative writing, and supportive workshopping of poems. Some questions and themes on the table:

  • How can shifts in tone, diction, and image help to create estrangement and complexity and renew our wonder?
  • Bringing in other voices and different registers of voice to reflect an ecology of voice and perspective.
  • Attention as reciprocal offering.
  • Estrangement to see anew.
  • The juxtaposition of intimate human details with imagery from the more-than-human world to create electricity and resonance.
  • Irreverence and humor to buoy reverence.
  • What quirky and specific authority is yours to voice?
  • As animal/ to animal: shifting a speaker in acts of imagination and intimacy.
  • Poems of witness and participation.
  • How can research and science come alive in poems?

Duration: This course meets over six consecutive Mondays from 6-9 pm ET, from April 1 through May 6.

Application period: January 15-31

The Instructor

Anne Haven McDonnell lives in Santa Fe, NM and is a professor of Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts. A recipient of a 2023 National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, she is the author of Breath on a Coal from Middle Creek Press (runner-up for the ASLE Book Award and long-listed for The Laurel Prize), and the chapbook Living with Wolves from Split Rock Press. Her poetry has been published in Orion Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. Anne Haven holds an MFA from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and has been awarded fellowships at MacDowell, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, the Wrangell Mountain Center, and the Andrews Forest Residency. She helps edit poetry for the online journal Terrain.org.


April 1
May 6
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