The Modern Sonnet

Dates: Saturday, January 9, from 10 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm, Pacific Coast Time. Find your time zone.
Location: Online via Zoom
Faculty: Kim Addonizio
Tuition: $75 usd
Registration: available below, or by contacting


Class Description: The Modern Sonnet

The sonnet, or “little song,” is that most beautiful of Italian imports—flexible, challenging, and above all continuously in use and evolving.

Whether you’ve never tried a sonnet, or need a refresher and some inspiration for new ones, this will be a chance to develop your formal skills and ultimately loosen the corset strings.

We’ll cover the evolution of the sonnet, its meter and rhyme and structures, and read and discuss examples from Shakespeare to Donne to Edna Millay, from Claude McKay to Gwendolyn Brooks to Terrance Hayes.

We’ll look at Unholy Sonnets! Bar-Napkin Sonnets! Blues sonnets, couplet sonnets, Lin-Manuel-Miranda’s Tony Acceptance Speech for “Hamilton” Sonnet!

In contemporary practice, nearly anything goes. You’ll finish our time together with a deeper knowledge of the sonnet form–in a modern context.



Kim Addonizio’s latest books are a memoir, “Bukowski in a Sundress:  Confessions from a Writing Life” (Penguin), and a poetry collection, “Mortal Trash” (W.W. Norton), winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize. Her new poetry collection, “Now We’re Getting Somewhere,” is out from Norton in March, 2021.

Her other publications include two novels, two guides to writing poetry (“The Poet’s Companion,” with Dorianne Laux, and “Ordinary Genius”), two short story collections, and several other books of poetry. Addonizio is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and two Pushcart Prizes, and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Her work has been translated into several languages, including Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Hungarian, Italian, and Spanish. She teaches privately in Oakland and online, as well as at conferences and retreats all over the world.



The Modern Sonnet