The Virginia G. Piper
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Another Voice: Creating Memorable Poetic Personas with Lois Roma Deeley

Date(s): Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., April 22, 2017
Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281 (view map)
Craft Class, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Poetry


About the Class

Sometimes the voice in our persona poems can take on a conspiratorial, intimate tone--something like an intense conversation between friends. Sometimes, it can be a like a public protest--confrontational, aggrieved, outraged. In a poem the reader can observe, learn, judge and love –or hate--the persona encountered. However, what is essential is that the reader must, as Samuel T. Coleridge famously said, “willingly suspend disbelief.” That is, the reader must believe the voice to be authentic in order to accept the persona as “real.” We will begin by writing various “voice” in-class exercises, taking a cue from several sources and prompts. Our goals are twofold: to experiment with “taking on the mask” of various personas, especially those of “witnesses and outsiders,” and to come away with a clearer understanding of poetic techniques used which help to create memorable personas. Students should bring writing materials to class. Writers of all levels of experience and comfort with poetry are welcome. Workshop space is limited.

Meet Your Instructor

Lois Roma-Deeley is the author of three collections of poetry, Rules of HungernorthSight and High Notes-- a Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist. Her poetry has been published in numerous literary anthologies, including Villanelles (Pocket Poet Series) and Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity. Further, her work has been featured in numerous literary journals, including Spillway, The Transnational, Water~Stone, Juked, Bellingham Review, Artful Dodge and many others.