Surprise Yourself, Surprise Your Reader: A Free Poetry Intensive on Zoom

Surprise Yourself, Surprise Your Reader: A Free Poetry Intensive on Zoom

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Ruth Danon

Both Robert Frost and Flannery O’Connor made famous the statement, “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” This generative two-hour workshop, open to prose writers and poets, provides ways to access that which is present in the mind but not yet on the page or even in conscious intention. Writers will discover what they didn’t know they knew. This workshop utilizes play, writing, and feedback to locate and identify what’s most surprising and unexpected in raw text. Participants will leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of what’s at stake for them as writers, and with a rough draft that can lead toward more finished material.

Ruth Danon is the author of three books of poetryWord Has It (Nirala, 2018), Limitless Tiny Boat (BlazeVOX, 2016), and Triangulation from a Known Point (North Star Line, 1990)and a book of literary criticism, Work in the English Novel, which was reissued by Routledge in 2020. Her work has been published widely in the U.S. and abroad in publications such as The Paris Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Barrow Street, Versal, and Fence. She has been interviewed in a number of journals including The Kenyon Review, Rain Taxi, and Pank. Most recently her work was selected as a finalist in Tupelo Quarterlys Four Quartets project. Robert Creeley selected one of her poems for inclusion in Best American Poetry 2002. She lives in Beacon, NY, and teaches privately, working with students in Beacon, NYC, and across the country. She also teaches at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan for New York Writers Workshop. For 23 years she taught creative and expository writing in the program she designed and directed for adult undergraduates at NYU's School of Professional Studies. She retired from NYU in 2017. After retiring she founded Live Writing: a Project for the Reading, Writing, and Performance of Poetry, and until the pandemic was curator of the Spring Street Reading Series for Atlas Studios in Newburgh, NY.

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