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Workshops and Classes

Poetry Workshops, Poetry Writing, Poetry NYC, Poetry Teaching, Scott Hightower
Poets House offers a wide range of classes for experienced readers and writers of poetry, as well as newcomers to the art. Innovative seminars and workshops taught by emerging and established poets offer aficionados as well as poetry newcomers an opportunity to explore various aspects of the writing process in greater depth.

In addition to Master Classes and Open-Enrollment Workshops, One Day Workshops and Teen Poetry Workshops, we also offer the Emerging Poets Fellowship, a four-month program for talented emerging poets who demonstrate potential and need. See below for more details about all of these opportunities for poetry instruction.

A master list of all Poets House programs held from 1986 to the present can be found here.

Class enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Since many classes fill quickly; we encourage you to enroll early. Your enrollment is complete when full payment for tuition has been received.

Six-Week Open-Enrollment Classes

These poetry workshops give special focus to the relationship between reading and writing poetry. Open to all levels, six-week courses are offered on a wide variety of topics. Register early – first come, first served; Fee: $325


Finding the Art in the Line with Elaine Sexton
6 Tuesdays, February 21 – March 28, 6:00-8:30pm

Visions and Visionary Poetics with Julian Talamantez Brolaski
6 Thursdays, February 23 – March 30, 6:00-8:30pm

Experimenting with Lyric Poetry with Megan Fernandes
6 Saturdays, February 25 – April 1, 11:30am-2:00pm


An Equal Music: Writing Poems from a Musical Influence with Jay Deshpande
6 Tuesdays, April 11 – May 16, 6:00-8:30pm

The Whole Poem: Unlocking the Full Potential of a Poem’s Content and Form with Neil Shepard
6 Thursdays, April 13 – May 18, 6:00-8:30pm

The Art of Truth Telling: Discernment, Authenticity, and Risk with Eugenia Leigh
6 Saturdays, April 22 – June 3, 11:30am-2:00pm


Poets Respond: Poetry as Political Dialogue with Camille Rankine
6 Tuesdays, May 30 – July 11 (skipping Tuesday, July 4), 6:00-8:30pm

Preludes: The Long Poem with Paolo Javier
6 Wednesdays, June 21 – July 26, 6:00-8:30pm

Master Classes

Master Classes, which usually meet Saturday and Sunday, offer advanced writers of poetry an opportunity to work intensively with some of the most respected poets of our time. Applications are required; space is limited. Fee $390

Sound Sense & Sway: A Master Class with Kazim Ali
Saturday, April 22, 2:00-6:00pm
Sunday, April 23, 12:00-4:00pm

Master Class with Catherine Barnett
Saturday, May 13, 2:00-6:00pm
Sunday, May 14, 12:00-4:00pm

Master Class with Nick Flynn
Saturday, June 3, 12:00-4:00pm
Sunday, June 4, 12:00-4:00pm

Special One Day Workshops

Seeing our Stanzas: Ekphrasis & Identity with Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Saturday, January 28, 2:00-5:00pm
Fee $75
In this one-day workshop we will write towards both personal and national identity and imaginations through the space of visual art. Using American Stanzas: 2006 – 2016 as a three-dimensional text, Rachel Eliza Griffiths will lead a detailed writing workshop that will include close readings of Cave Canem poetry that inspired her exhibit, generative writing prompts, and interactive discussions with participants about their own writing practices. This workshop will focus its energy on the richly, complex act and art of bridging language and imagery.

The Bridges Amidst: Poetry and Prose
Saturday, March 18, 1:00-3:30pm
Fee $25
A poetry and nonfiction seminar with poet and novelist Renée Ashley and memoirist Rosie Schaap.

Attention in Its Highest Form Is the Same Thing as Prayer: Poetry as Receptivity and Effortless Effort with Farnoosh Fathi
Sunday, May 7, 1:00-5:00pm
Fee $95
What is attention? How do we create it? What does the language of your highest attention look like? What kinds of attention support, or obstruct, your process? In this one-day intensive, our class will function as an extended meditation; our work will be to create, combine and consider our attention, with the goal of seeing how this effort, rather than forced determination toward a particular outcome, can be the real work of writing. We will incorporate a variety of meditative practices that deepen our poems, drawing on Hui Neng’s Platform Sutra, Flannery O’ Connor’s A Prayer Journal and teachings by Corita Kent. Readings will form a base for our own meditation, beginning with selections from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, Clarice Lispector’s Agua Viva, and Simone Weil’s Gravity and Grace. We’ll also read gathas, canticles and poems by Anchorites, Zoroastrians and the anonymous.

Occult: Poetry and Divination with Timothy Liu and Hoa Nguyen
Saturday, June 24, 1:00-5:00pm
Fee $95
To “divine” is to seek guidance and counsel from a god. Or an oracle. To “auger” is to be able to read the signs whether one is looking at the stars (Astrology), throwing down coins (I-Ching), or drawing cards from the major and minor arcana (Tarot). This workshop will explore how occult practices dovetail with our writing lives. We’ll first take a look at historical figures (Yeats, H.D., Robert Duncan, Sylvia Plath. James Merrill) before delving into prompts and revisionary exercises that border on the uncanny.

I am Most I When You are Most You: Poetry, Prayer and the Language of your Highest Attention with Farnoosh Fathi
Saturday, July 15, 12:00-4:00pm
Fee $95
In this one-day intensive, we will consider poetry and prayer as receptive activities that require our total presence, require that we become fully ourselves. Our focus will be on creating, combining and considering our attention, with the goal of seeing how this effort, rather than forced determination toward a particular outcome, can be the real work of writing.

Making a Point in Two Lines: The Challenge of the Modern Ghazal with Shadab Zeest Hashmi
Saturday, July 22, 1:00-5:00pm
Fee $75
The Ghazal is a form whose aesthetics allow it to make a grand gesture in merely two lines. How does a successful Ghazal string these “independent, epigrammatic” couplets without sounding archaic or sentimental? In this workshop, we’ll take a brief look at the rich tradition of the Ghazal in Urdu, and explore some well-crafted Ghazals by contemporary American poets. Workshop participants will engage in writing exercises and discussion on their way to writing their own Ghazal.

Workshops for Teens

One Day NYC High School Poetry Workshop
Saturday, May 6, 1:00-5:00pm
Mahogany Browne, Nuyorican Poets Café Poetry Program Director and Cave Canem and Poets House Fellowship Alumna, teaches an open-enrollment poetry workshop for the first 15 interested NYC students to sign up.

Weeklong Workshop for Teens
Monday, July 17-Friday, July 21, 12:00-4:00pm
Fee: $495
This weeklong workshop brings together high school poets from around the city (and the world) for a marathon session of writing, reading, exploring, and discovering poetry and themselves as poets. . Full scholarships provided for students with need.

Full and Partial Refunds

  • Requests for refunds must be received in writing. To request a refund, email Program Assistant Rennie Ament at
  • Poets House retains a $60 processing fee on any refund.
  • Refunds will not be issued after the following deadlines, regardless of participation: Six and Ten Week Workshops: tuition (less processing fee) is refundable until the second class meeting. Master Classes: refund requests must be made at least 24 hours prior to the first meeting.
  • Six registrants are required in order for a class to run. If a course fails to meet the minimum registration, it will be cancelled and full tuition will be refunded to all registrants.
  • Tuition will not be pro-rated for missed classes.

Poets House Emerging Poets Fellowship Program

Funded by a generous grant from the Jerome Foundation, Poets House’s Emerging Poets Fellowship Program (formerly the Emerging Poets Residency) assists emerging poets by providing excellent poetry writing instruction and mentoring in the special environment of Poets House's poetry library —with its unique archives and access to far-reaching programs and conversations with poets and poetry audiences. The program aims to deepen participants’ artistic practice by offering a robust professional network of poets and literary professionals, including special visits from editors and publishers, who will assist each writer with their artistic development and career.

The program includes weekly writing workshops, mentoring sessions, meetings with guest speakers, free access to Poets House's events and archival resources and culminates in a final group reading. Transportation support is available for participants. The application process is competitive; tuition is free to those accepted into the program.

For more information, please visit the Emerging Poets Fellowship page, or contact Lauren Clark - Program Coordinator, 212-431-7920 ext. 1-2818,

Read the work of Fellows from 2012-2015 in Issue 68 (summer 2015) of The Cortland Review

Read an article on the Emerging Poets Fellowship from Peril, an Asian Australian online magazine of arts and culture here

Download our Spring 2017 Calendar (PDF)