Course Catalog

Light Becomes Itself in the Dark: Experiments in Chiaroscuro

“Light becomes itself in the dark, and becomes nothing when the real light comes.” writes Brenda Shaughnessy in her poem “Streetlamps.” Visual artists use light and shadow to direct our eye and suggest dimension, movement, and mood; how can writers use similar effects, and in what unique ways can they bend the rules? Playing with imagery, tone, shape, pacing, and synesthesia – and looking to poetry as well as painting, photography, film, and dance – we’ll create a new portfolio of work from unusual in-class writing prompts and field notes. All levels welcome; slanted toward poetry, open to prose.

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: Sierra Nelson

Start Date: 07/02/2015

End Date: 07/23/2015

Days of the Week: Thursday

Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$180.00 Member Price:
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$200.00 General Price:

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Sierra Nelson

Sierra Nelson is a poet, performer, and installation artist. Her books include forthcoming poetry collection The Lachrymose Report (Poetry Northwest Editions), lyrical choose-your-own-adventure I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press), and chapbook In Case of Loss (Toadlily). Earning her MFA in Poetry from University of Washington (2002), Nelson is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Carolyn Kizer Prize winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and winner of the Carolyn Kizer Prize and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's CityArtist Grant. She is also co-founder of literary performance groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, and president of Seattle's Cephalopod Appreciation Society. For more info:

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