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Teach: Graduate Poetry Workshop–4 Weeks on Ekphrasis

Maureen Seaton, who teaches at the University of Miami and who has had two poems published at Broadsided Press, generously shared her experience and lesson plans that brought Broadsided into her graduate poetry workshop—now, we share her words with you:


I used Broadsided in my grad workshop this semester. Weeks 2-5 revolve around ekphrasis, including work by poet Joy Harjo with visual artist Stephen Strom and poet Denise Duhamel with visual artist Catherine Opie. We made broadsides ourselves in class (I’ve brought in a ton of art materials).

I’m sad to say I have no images to send—we displayed the broadsides around the classroom, but I’m not sure what happened to them and I didn’t take photos! Good heavens.

Here is an excerpt of my graduate workshop syllabus for you. I thought it might be fun to see exactly how the ekphrasis lesson moved along and how I incorporated Broadsided into the syllabus.

The students absolutely loved it all—working on the visuals and on the written. The combination of art and language and Broadsided is simply perfect. Now my grad poets know about you and one has even been rejected in a very nice way!

Thank you! Your beautiful mission and broadsides continue to amaze and delight me.

—Maureen Seaton


week 1:       

  • In Class: Write from assorted projected images.
  • READ: Joy Harjo and Stephen Strom’s Secrets from the Center of the World. Annotate.
  • WRITE: Ekphrasis in the style of Harjo based on “place.” (Bring copies for all, with images, if possible.) Plus: Bring an image or images to share for an ekphrastic exercise next week.

week 2: 

week 3:   

week 4:             

  • In Class: Share poems for Broadsided. Discuss packets.
  • Write: Read, jot, draw, and/or collage in journals.
Do you have a teaching exercise that uses Broadsided?  Would you like to share?  Whether it’s for primary school students, a retirement community, a homeless shelter, or a university course, we’d like to offer it here so that teachers can learn from each other.  You can contact us through the email address on this page.

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