How do we use language that calls for our and others’ full attention? How do we create, order, and craft words in a way that goes beyond the user-friendly, transactional ways we skim text to gather information or entertain ourselves? In this generative session, we'll explore metaphor-making and other strategies for making our writing sing. The exercises provided in this session will push you toward what Gregory Orr calls your poetic "thresholds—those places where disorder and order meet." We will make our writing more urgent and persuasive. We will write in a way that ensures our readers feel what we felt when we were called to write those words in the first place.
John McCarthy is the author of Scared Violent Like Horses (Milkweed Editions, 2019), which won the Jake Adam York Prize. His new manuscript, This Brutal Vanishing, was recently a finalist for the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry from The University of Wisconsin Press and the Lexi Rudnitsky's Editor's Prize from Persea Books. Additionally, John is a former recipient of The Pinch Literary Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets 2015, Cincinnati Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, and TriQuarterly. John received his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He lives in Evanston where he serves as a Managing Editor of RHINO.