Fall Craft Intensive: Porsha Olayiwola


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Editor's Note

The Volta: To Pivot the Poem with Porsha Olayiwola
Saturday, September 17
10 AM  – 1 PM PST

This intensive is a love letter to the sonnet.

Experimental, this session will ask participants to stretch and reimagine each structural component of the sonnet as a world onto itself. We will bend and implode what a sonnet can be. In particular, we’ll focus on the volta, the turn, the shift, pivot, power and surprise in the sonnet, and thus, any poem we write. Using the work of several contemporary poets, this intensive will provide an exercise in control. We will use the sonnet to inform how each poem we write interacts with our readers in ways that are intimate and inquisitive. Participants should come ready to break the rules.

BIO: Porsha Olayiwola is a native of Chicago who writes, lives and loves in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the founder of the Roxbury Poetry Festival. Olayiwola is Brown University’s 2019 Heimark Artist -In -Residence as well as the 2021 Artist-in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She is a 2020 poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American poets. Olayiwola earned her MFA in poetry from Emerson College and is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too. Olayiwola is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston. Her work can be found in or forthcoming from with TriQuarterly Magazine, Black Warrior Review, The Boston Globe, Essence Magazine, Redivider, The Academy of American Poets, Netflix, Wildness Press, The Museum of Fine Arts and elsewhere.