We wrap up our Winter Wheat poetry panel features with these last 5 amazing workshops. Be sure to check them out!


“That’s Absurd! How to Write Absurdist Poetry,” with Jen Pelto

Whether you’re still Waiting for Godot or undergoing a Metamorphosis, this workshop will discuss the thematic and philosophical elements of absurdism, provide post-postmodern examples from working writers, and give you the space to play with language to write your own absurd poems!

Jen Pelto is a poet and taxidermist who hails from West Michigan, pursuing an MFA in poetry at BGSU. Her work can be found in Prairie Schooner, Heavy Feather Review, Rock & Sling, and elsewhere.

(this workshop will be held on Friday, November 4th from 3:00-4:15pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select A5 when you register!)


“Forcing Found Poetry and Reluctant Collaborative Discovery,” with Jessica Zinz-Cheresnick

Do you get annoyed by found poetry and think it lacks the creative pulp of other work? Or is it the only way you can get writing? Do you detest collaborative poetry or poems with multiple writers? Or do you embrace the struggle two people might have in trying to create one piece?

I used to devalue found poetry. I also hated the concept of poetic collaboration and recognizing that two writers wrote one poem. However, after not getting much of my own writing done in the last several years of teaching, found poetry allowed me to get writing again. After being forced to collaborate on a poem in a festival workshop a few years ago, I was rejuvenated by the resulting poem. I want to bring this life to your work too.

In this workshop, we will discuss found poetry, both its concerns and merits. We will also discuss the ethics of collaborative poems, the judgments of them, and the value in them. Then, participants will be guided in writing a collaboratively found poem.

Jessica Zinz-Cheresnick is a faculty member in the General Studies Writing Program at BGSU and holds an MFA in poetry. Her work has appeared in The Rubbertop Review and Fjords Review, and she also reviews for Mid-American Review.

(this workshop will be held on Friday, November 4th from 3:00-4:15pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select A7 when you register!)


“The ‘Art’ of Poetry: Storytelling through Narrative Collage,” with Kristin LaFollette

Narrative collage has its beginnings in the Dadaist and Surrealist movements of the 1910s and 1920s and is a hybrid genre that combines elements of image and text. This workshop will examine works like Heather Cousin’sSomething in the Potato Room and Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and will give writers the opportunity to experiment with incorporating visuals into their own original poetry.

*Note: Participants should bring a laptop computer to the workshop.

Kristin LaFollette is a PhD student at BGSU. Her poems have been featured in West Trade Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Cordite Poetry Review, among others. She also has artwork featured in Harbinger Asylum, Plath Profiles, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Spry Literary Journal. Her graduate thesis was a work of narrative collage.

(this workshop will be held on Friday, November 4th from 4:30-5:45pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select B5 when you register!)


“Architectural Follies: Playing with Experimental Structures in Poetry,” with Erika Schnepp

This workshop will examine the often thin line between shaped poems and visual art, playing with the way poems can straddle that line, as well as the sometimes quiet way shape and punctuation can impact how a poem is read and experienced. We explore the challenge of curating Emily Dickinson’s letter poems to prose poetry and more explosively hyper-structured poems, as well as how to use forms and structure without the structure overpowering the poem.

E.B. Schnepp is a poet from rural Mid-Michigan who’s found herself in the flatlands of Ohio with an MFA from BGSU and a bad procrasti-baking habit. She is currently the Director of the Learning Center and Retention Coordinator at OSU Lima. Her work can also be found in Crabs Fat, pacificREVIEW, and Paper Nautilus, among others.

(this workshop will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 11:00-12:15pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select D5 when you register!)


“‘Raid the Other World’: Writing Prose Poems,” with Callista Buchen

Marianne Moore suggests that the problems of definition, of “trying to differentiate poetry from prose,” are the “wart[s] on so much happiness.” In this workshop, we’ll happily blur boundaries and focus on writing prose poems. We’ll look at and try out different kinds of prose poetry, exploring how the prose poem can “borrow” the strategies of non-poems, what Michael Delville calls the prose poem’s “propensity to transcend traditional distinctions.” As we’ll see, all genres are full of contradictions, and recognizing and exploiting these contradictions will help us create exciting new work.

We’ll write lots of our own pieces, using the prose poem form to challenge boundaries. We’ll think about both the boundaries of form and the perceived boundaries of content, since as Delville argues, “what is at stake here is the extent to which poetry, like any other discourse or cultural practice, can have claims to larger concerns in the world outside the text” (x).

Callista Buchen is the author of The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, 2016). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals, and she is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award and DIAGRAM‘s essay contest. She is an assistant professor at Franklin College in Indiana.

(this workshop will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 3:00-4:15pm. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, select F1 when you register!)