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Monday Night Poetry: Syntax in Poetry with Esther Lin (via Zoom)

July 8 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


We will read short excerpts of exceptional prose and poetry to discuss the expressive powers of syntax. How do the sentences of novelists Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Toni Morrison hold their readers? How do poets like Robyn Schiff, Paisley Rekdal, Henri Cole modulate their sentence according to their line? Or, how do they break their line according to their sentence? In this course, we will practice the paratactic and hypotactic sentence and their effects; we will also measure the weights of clauses and where in the sentence they fall most heavily, if we can vary that, and to what effect. A general knowledge of grammar is helpful but not required; I will provide a crash course in common terms if requested. Students should expect to read a selection of poems for each class, write sentences for exercises, as well as poems (maximum of 50 lines) for workshop.

NB: This class will be taught on Zoom and capped at 12 students. You will receive the Zoom link after you register. Scholarships are due on May 15. Please read all class policies before registering for a course.

Esther Lin was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant for 21 years. She is the author of The Ghost Wife, winner of the 2017 Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship. She was also a 2019–20 Writing Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, and a 2017–2019 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Currently she co-organizes the Undocupoets, which promotes the work of undocumented poets and raises consciousness about the structural barriers that they face in the literary community. Lin is the author of The Ghost Wife (PSA chapbook, 2018) and the winner of the 2023 Alice James Award for her manuscript, Cold Thief Place. It will be published in March 2025.



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Monday Night Poetry Esther Lin Syntax
$ 335.00
12 available


July 8
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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