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Poetry Class at The Writing University, Iowa

I decided to take the free, online, six week class on How Writers Write Poetry, offered by The University of Iowa. I do so much duty writing these days, I feel like my creative chops are a little dry (ever get that feeling, writers? It’s a drag!). Anyway– so far it’s really been interesting to flip words around a bit and play with some exercises. I’m not a poet– at all– so this is a real creative challenge for me.

Our first exercise was led by one of my mentors in school, American poet Robert Hass. I highly recommend his books, Sun Under Wood and Time and Materials. He’s utterly brilliant and the most lovely man. We had to write four poetic sketches: one, two, three, and four line bits just to play with technique and get our ideas down. Here’s what I submitted to class this morning.

sugar cookies, death, and broken teeth: 1-4 series.


The coarse sugar cookie grits my teeth as I stare at the floor, waiting.


Two suits sit on the train.

Nodding at the air in agreement.


The left eye beamed brightly still.

Beneath the swelling and scars and smoke-stained nails.

Somewhere, under it all, she was there.


A hidden tongue on a chipped back tooth.

And pangs of want of the world.

He sits flat with his twisted jaw,

and wonders why she left.



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