The Poetry of Place: Creating the Physical and Emotional Terrain

Dates: Tuesdays, January 5, 12, 19, & 26, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm, Pacific Time Zone. Find your time zone.
Location: Online via Zoom
Faculty: Gary Copeland Lilley
Tuition: $250 usd
Registration: available below, or by contacting

Class Description

Place in literature, for the writer, should be considered the starting point. Place, as a central feature of the work, provides the physical aspect of an environment–as well as the cultural, social, and emotional contexts in which we locate the lyrical and the narrative of our poems and stories.

Developing a sense of place is what makes one town,or city, county, or region different from another, and it’s what makes us, as readers, care about it. A sense of place creates identity, and functions almost like a character.

As part of this workshop, we’ll look at work by Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Audre Lorde, Jean Toomer, Toni Cade Bambara, Langston Hughes, and others.

This is a generative workshop: we’ll create a set of drafts: the goal is to develop the physical and emotional terrain of a setting–and a true sense of place.



Gary Copeland Lilley is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent being The Bushman’s Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and a chapbook, The Hog Killing, from Blue Horse Press (2018). He is originally from North Carolina and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the Washington DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. He is published in numerous anthologies and journals, including Best American Poetry 2014, Willow Springs, The Swamp, Waxwing, the Taos International Journal of Poetry, and the African American Review. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.



The Poetry of Place