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Introduction to Contemporary Poetry: Philadelphia Style

Philadelphia is a great city for poetry. This general introduction to poetry course will be a guided tour through the work of some fantastic and foundational Philadelphia poets. Along with this work, we will read essays by poets about what a poem can do, and examine a variety of approaches to reading and writing poetry. Starting with broad ideas like sound, image, and the space of the page, we will learn to think about your work through a variety of lenses and gain familiarity with some more specific terms of art as well. We will try writing through a variety of generative constraints grounded in our readings, share work, and provide supportive and constructive feedback. This course is designed to help you get in touch with, discover, or deepen your creative practice.

Levi Bentley has an MFA in poetry from Temple University, and has worked with Copper Canyon Press and Ugly Duckling Press. They organize a craft conversation series with Ted Reese called Housework. Their work had been released from a variety of small presses and little magazines including Gina Meyer's Lamehouse Press, Apiary, Bedfellows, BlazeVOX, Fact-Simile, Gigantic Sequins, Painted Bride Quarterly, Stillwater Review, and The Wanderer.

Wednesdays 6-9pm. 6-12 students, A Novel Idea Bookstore, 1726 East Passyunk Ave

$400 (Financial aid is available)

To apply, send an email to with a short summary of your writing experience and a sample of 2-4 pages of poetry or prose (corresponding to genre you’re applying in). To apply for financial aid, please also fill out this form

Deadline to apply: December 17, 11:59pm