Event—Adult Education

Intro to Poetry-Writing for Prose Writers


This class is for prose writers (i.e., everyone) seeking a safe space to consider how engaging with poetry might enhance their writing.

A Semicolon: A Totem. From "A brief history of punctuation: poems" by Maurya Simon; calligraphy by Cheryl Jacobsen. 2002. Call number: Wing folio ZPP 2083 .S882

Class Description

Are you a poet...but don't yet know it? Poetry and prose have a lot in common, as well as a few intriguing differences. This class is for prose writers (i.e., everyone) seeking a safe space to consider how poetry skills and knowledge might enhance their prose, and to have fun experimenting with poetry to expand their creative practice.

You will appreciate a range of poetry, consider differences and similarities between prose and poetry, learn about and try out prose poems and hybrids, and play with formal poetry and free verse while giving and receiving informal feedback. As a culminating exercise, you will choose your own best application to share and receive personal suggestions for next steps from your instructor.

Julie Benesh, MFA, PhD (Juliebenesh.com) is author of ABOUT TIME from Cathexis Northwest Press. She has published in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Hobart, JMWW, New World Writing, Cleaver, Sky Island Journal, and elsewhere. She received an Illinois Arts Council Grant.

Materials List


  • Instructor-Distributed Materials

First Reading:

  • No first reading assignment

Cost and Registration

Four sessions, $215 ($193.50 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


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