Course Catalog

Intro to Free Verse Poetry

With all of the “freedom” in free verse, how do poets decide what shape their poems will take? We will consider the various “forms” of contemporary free verse, with a focus on what constitutes a “line” in free-verse poetry. Students will be exposed to a breadth of examples of innovative contemporary poetry and be given exercises and prompts to help them develop and apply their own theories of the poetic line.

Hugo House is temporarily moving! May 19 is the last date Hugo House will hold classes at its current location. Starting May 20, Hugo House classes will be held at 1021 Columbia Street, Seattle, WA 98104.

This class will change locations in week 6.

Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom.

If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle.

If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform.

If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.

Instructor: Kristina Jipson

Class Type: 10 Sessions

Start Date: 04/20/2016

End Date: 06/22/2016

Days of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$342.00 Member Price:
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$380.00 General Price:

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Kristina Jipson

Kristina Jipson’s first book, Halve, won the Tupelo Press First/Second Book Award. She is the author of two chapbooks: Lock, Means, published by Dancing Girl Press, and How Void of Miracles, published by Hand Held Editions.

Teaching philosophy: Great creative writing teachers are better than therapists. Waiting outside the office of one of my own favorite teachers for our very first one-on-one meeting, I was alarmed to hear what I thought might be sobs coming from inside. Sure enough, when the door opened some minutes later, a teary but starry-eyed poet emerged. Don’t worry, she said to me, wiping her nose, everyone cries. And she was right. I held out for about fifteen minutes of discussing my poems, and then I too cried. So did the student who went in after me. Not because we were being criticized (we weren’t) but because we were being asked to really examine why we were writing and how much it mattered to us. We cried, and then we got excited. I don’t try to make my students cry, but I do believe that the very best writing teachers help students to think deeply about what they most want to say, and about who they most want to have hear it. Only by starting from a place of honesty and clarity about what each writer’s fondest hopes are for their writing can I be the facilitator—connecting students with the writing, ideas, strategies, and skills that will bring them closer to their own writing practices—that each writer deserves.

Writers I always return to: John Ashbery, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Edmond Jabès, Claudia Rankine, Marilynne Robinson, Jacques Roubaud, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Keith Waldrop, Virginia Woolf

Favorite writing advice: Write every day. That’s it. I’ve never heard a more valuable piece of writing advice than this. If you sit down to write every single day—even if it’s only for twenty minutes and even if you’re dog tired and all you manage to do is type a sting of clichés you’ll delete the next day—you’re a writer. Writers write. Everything else follows.

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