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Obviously, lasting impressions are left by images and scenes that capture our attention and stay with us—for better or for worse. In this craft session, we will examine how writers carefully pick and choose images that carry with them emotional undertows and emotionally resonant details that speak to a larger scene, narrative, or experience of feeling. Oftentimes, our attention to image is oversimplified into adjective + noun constructions and an impulse to simply list objects within the writer or speaker’s purview. In this course, we will look at how those individual objects can be placed in context to the overall narrative structure of our poems and stories to build interior emotional states, narrative texture and rhythm. We will look at the overall strategies and choices that go into crafting successful images that make our writing more creative and complex.
John McCarthy is the author of Scared Violent like Horses (Milkweed Editions, 2019), which won the Jake Adam York Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in 32 Poems, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Copper Nickel, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, and TriQuarterly. He is a former recipient of The Pinch Literary Award in Poetry, and he received his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. John currently lives in Evanston, Illinois where he is an Associate Editor at RHINO magazine.
John will accept poetry and prose for critique. Please see manuscript guidelines for details.
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