Sweetbitter: Poems of Love, Longing, and the Exquisite Pain
Eros the melter of limbs (now again) stirs me—
sweetbitter unmanageable creature who steals in
— Sappho (trans. Anne Carson)
Desire: the unmanageable creature. How do we begin to write about this unwieldy feeling, this oft-overwhelming experience? How do we look clearly and closely at our deepest loves and sharpest pains? In this workshop, we will push beyond fears of sentimentality and melodrama to write poems that engage boldly with both sides of love—the sweet and the bitter. Using poems by Anne Carson, Linda Gregg, Jack Gilbert, Louise Glück, Li-Young Lee, Adrienne Rich, Richard Siken, Tiphanie Yanique, and more, we will look at ways to “manage” even the fiercest of our feelings in our own work, while writing poems that are alive, honest, and unflinching.
Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of Deluge, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020, and the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors' Selection from Bull City Press. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, The Frost Place, and the Key West Literary Seminar, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing. Her poems appear in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.