24PearlStreet Workshops and Events

Keetje Kuipers A Poetics of Humility: Writing Worm-Level Poems Poetry October 30 to November 3, 2023 Number of Participants: 12 Price: $575.00 Format: 1 Week - LIVE Zoom Workshop

LIVE via Zoom: 2pm-4pm (Eastern Time)

Writing a poem is always a vulnerable undertaking, but it becomes an even more delicate and dangerous act when we as people rather than as poets are implicated in the act. The Latin root of the word humility, “humus,” means “of the earth.” So to humble ourselves inside the poem—to attempt to answer the question of what we’ve sometimes gotten painfully, harmfully wrong as we’ve moved through the world—is work that requires getting a little muddy. What might it be like for our poems to get down in the dirt, to put ourselves and our poems at worm level? In this class, we will spend an intense week concentrating on writing towards the places in our poems where humility manifests itself as a clarity of vision of ourselves in relation to the world. We’ll accomplish this through reading, drafting, and revision that asks each of us to create a poetics of humility that yields not a poem of regret but of wonder—at change, at realization, at the endless, humble prospect of still-to-be-seen possibility.


Keetje Kuipers is the author of three books of poems, all from BOA Editions: Beautiful in the Mouth (2010), which was chosen by Thomas Lux as the winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, The Keys to the Jail (2014), and All Its Charms (2019), which includes poems honored by publication in both The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. Keetje’s poetry and prose have appeared in The New York Times, American Poetry Review, POETRY, and over a hundred other magazines. Keetje has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellow in Poetry at Bread Loaf, the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College, and the recipient of multiple residency fellowships, including PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency. She lives with her wife and children in Montana, where she is Editor of Poetry Northwest. Her fourth book, Lonely Women Make Good Lovers, which was awarded the Isabella Gardner Award, will be published by BOA Editions in spring 2025.

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