Craft Talk and Generative Workshop with Kaveh Akbar


Saturday, February 22, 2020
10:30 am Eastern Time

Skiles Classroom Building,
Room 10

Free and Open to the public


RSVP to the event to reserve a spot


Join us for a unique opportunity to take part in a craft talk and generative poetry workshop with Kaveh Akbar in a small group setting. The workshop will begin with a craft talk by Kaveh, followed by a workshopping session where Kaveh will help the poets craft new poems.

This event is free and open to the public. However, due to space constraints, please RSVP for the event by email to Travis Denton, at by Thursday, February 19. For more information and directions, you may contact Travis.


Here's more about Akbar's primary topic of discussion:

Crushed Glass and Medusa's Veil: Exploring the Revelatory Break

In his A Year With Swollen Appendices, Brian Eno talks about experiencing the crack in a blue’s singer’s voice or the static of a grainy film as being “the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.” If we accept as American writers that our medium, the English language, is one of the deadliest colonial weapons ever invented, then its breaking becomes a political urgency. How do we undermine our language’s inherent corrosiveness, turn a violent technology against itself to speak to things—doubt, sex, identity, justice, rage—it would rather us leave unspoken? This lecture will discuss writers—including Robert Hayden, Jean Valentine, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Jos Charles—who use revelatory breaks in idiom, form, and syntax to render with clarity what is too urgent, too momentous, for mere rhetorical speech.

About the Poet

Kaveh Akbar founded and edits Divedapper, where he interviews major voices in contemporary poetry. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Tin House, APR, PBS NewsHour, and elsewhere. He is the author of the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017) and full-length collection Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017). Akbar has received a Pushcart and a Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. In 2016, Akbar was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He was born in Tehran, Iran, and is currently a professor in the MFA program at Purdue University and in the low-residency program at Randolph College.

Poet's Website  Poet's Bio

Works Discussed