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Sounding the Depths of Sound in Your Writing: A Workshop with Poet, Novelist, and Professor ~ Alexandra Teague

  • 04 Apr 2020
  • 05 Apr 2020
  • 2 sessions
  • 04 Apr 2020, 11:00 AM 4:00 PM (MDT)
  • 05 Apr 2020, 11:00 AM 3:00 PM (MDT)
  • McCall Community Hub (CUB), 114 N. 3rd St.
  • 10


NOTICE, 3/16: Due to concerns about the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and corresponding nation-wide mandates regarding events, all remaining Cabin Fever programming for the 2020 season has been canceled. Please visit our main Cabin Fever page for more info. If you're currently registered, you should have received an email from us with more details. Thank you for understanding, and we'll see you next year!


If, as Ilya Kaminsky says, “Poetry . . .  exists above any speech,” how can we use attention to sound - the musicality and pacing of our language and our silences - to make our own written words (whether poetry or prose) stand out above ordinary speech? What does it mean to do so, while still keeping our own natural cadences and voices? How can we get sound working on the level of word or sentence or paragraph? In this interactive workshop aimed at ALL levels, we’ll closely read sonically-skilled writing samples from John Milton to Flannery O’Connor to Sylvia Plath to Danez Smith, AND we will do a range of writing exercises - from playing with the etymology of words to the wording of sentences to writing in meter to imitating pieces of music - to get a sense of how far sound can take us. As Jericho Brown says, “If you put language first, then you can discover your ideas. But if you’re thinking about your ideas first, then you’re going to be at the mercy of the language you already know.” Let’s try putting language/sound first, and see what exciting places it leads us.
Alexandra Teague is an award-winning author of three collections of poetry - Or What We’ll Call Desire, The Wise and Foolish Builders, and Mortal Geography - and a novel, The Principles Behind Flotation. Her new book of poetry, Or What We’ll Call Desire, was recently praised in a New York Times review for its “exuberant pageants” of sentences, and she spent part of 2019 at the internationally-renowned Civitella Ranieri during an interdisciplinary arts residency. She is a professor in the MFA program at the University of Idaho, where she and her students recently completed a music-poetry collaboration with composer Ruby Fulton, the Decho Ensemble (saxophones), and Katherine Petersen (soprano). 
A short break for lunch will be included each workshop day, so please plan to bring a lunch or to purchase one nearby.  Registration Required 




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