Have your poems ever felt jealous of scientific essays, investigative journalism, instruction manuals, business correspondence, or religious texts to name a few? Or conversely does your prose feel like it’s missing certain flourishes, freedoms, or gestures that you see over the wall in poetry-land? Are you drawn to authors whose work exists somewhere at the nexus of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction? And do you simultaneously feel thrilled, jealous, and/or scandalized when you read how these authors flout genre preconceptions? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, this course is for you.
In this class we will explore the possibilities of the lyric essay, conceptualize our own hybrid text ideas, and develop site-specific writing approaches to embody our poem-prose explorations. We will read a variety of short texts by various authors ranging from prose poems to essays to religious and scientific texts that will serve as models and inspiration as you are writing. Each student will formulate, develop, and workshop a lyric essay and will receive individualized feedback from me and from their fellow classmates. This course is open to writers from all levels and backgrounds. Students should bring ideas for their lyric essay to the class, though no prior workshop experience is necessary.
Chloe Garcia Roberts is a writer and a translator from the Spanish and Chinese. She is the author of a book of poetry, The Reveal, and her essays have appeared in the Yale Review and Kenyon Review among others, been noted in Best American Essays 2022, and featured in the anthology, The Lyric Essay as Resistance. Her translations include Li Shangyin’s Derangements of My Contemporaries: Miscellaneous Notes, and a collected poems of Li Shangyin, and she is the recipient of a NEA fellowship for translation. Her first book of essays is forthcoming in 2024 from co•im•press. She lives in Boston and works as the deputy editor of Harvard Review.