Martha Rhodes

Author of four collections of poetry: At the Gate  (1995), Perfect Disappearance (2000, Green Rose Prize), Mother Quiet (2004), and The Beds (2012); poems published widely in journals such as Agni, Columbia, Fence, New England Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Anthologized widely, with work appearing in Agni 30 Years, Askold Melnyczuk ed.; Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, Susan Aizenberg and Erin Belieu, eds. (Columbia University Press, 2001); The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology, Michael Collier, ed. (University Press of New England, 2000); and others. Previously taught at Emerson College, New School University, and University of California-Irvine; currently teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Visiting or guest poet at many colleges and universities around the country and taught at conferences such as the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The Frost Place, Indiana University, Sarah Lawrence Summer Conference, and Third Coast. Serves on many publishing panels throughout each year at colleges, conferences, and arts organizations and is a regular guest editor at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the Colrain Manuscript Conference. Since 2010, director of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry in Franconia, New Hampshire. Founding editor and the director of Four Way Books in New York City, publishers of poetry and short fiction. SLC, 2005–

Graduate Courses

Writing 2017-2018

Poetry Craft: Managing Your Material

Craft—Fall

In a good poem, the elements work together as a unit, just as our own combinations of body and mind work together. But if we are studying body and mind as medical students do, we would soon realize that it is impossible to consider all parts at once. The way to deal with a complicated subject is to look at it part by part.…[Regarding poetry,] we have to talk separately about the elements that make it up—such as imagery, diction, rhythm—even though we know they cannot exist in isolation.  —from “Western Wind” by John Frederick Nims

We will examine how poets manage their content by isolating elements such as diction, syntax, structure, pacing, tone, imagery, and metaphor, among others, so that we can see how the elements are working on their own and how they cooperate and don’t cooperate with each other. What decisions is the poet making? And how do those decisions influence us as readers? There will be assignments throughout the semester that include generating poems, reading, writing a short paper (two-to-three pages), teaching a poem to the class, and more. We will read work by Carson, Francis, McClain, and many others, both as full books and through class handouts. 

Faculty

Previous Courses

Managing Our Material: Poetry Craft Class

Craft—Fall

“In a good poem, the elements work together as a unit, just as our own combinations of body and mind work together. But if we are studying body and mind as medical students do, we would soon realize that it is impossible to consider all parts at once. The way to deal with a complicated subject is to look at it part by part. … [Regarding poetry] we have to talk separately about the elements that make it up—such as imagery, diction, rhythm—even though we know they cannot exist in isolation.” —John Frederick Nims, from Western Wind

We will examine how poets manage their content by isolating elements such as diction, syntax, structure—pacing, tone, imagery, metaphor—among others so that we can see how the elements are working on their own and how they cooperate and don’t cooperate with each other. What decisions is the poet making? And how do those decisions influence us as readers? There will be assignments throughout the semester that include generating poems, reading, writing a short paper (2-3 pages), teaching a poem to the class, and more. Throughout the semester, we will read poems closely by writers such as Baldwin, Bishop, Brooks, Carson, Clifton, Francis, Frost, Gluck, May, Voigt, and many more.

Faculty

Managing Your Material: Poetry Craft Class

Craft—Fall

“In a good poem, the elements work together as a unit, just as our own combinations of body and mind work together. But if we are studying body and mind as medical students do, we would soon realize that it is impossible to consider all parts at once. The way to deal with a complicated subject is to look at it part by part. …[Regarding poetry]we have to talk separately about the elements that make it up—such as imagery, diction, rhythm—even though we know they cannot exist in isolation.”

– from Western Wind by John Frederick Nims

We will examine how poets manage their content by isolating elements such as diction, syntax, structure: pacing, tone, imagery, metaphor, among others so that we can see how the elements are working on their own and how they cooperate and don't cooperate with each other. What decisions is the poet making? And how do those decisions influence us as readers? There will be assignments throughout the semester that include generating poems, reading, writing a short paper (2-3 pages), teaching a poem to the class, and more. Throughout the semester we will read poems closely by such writers as Baldwin, Bishop, Brooks, Carson, Francis, Gluck, May, Voigt, and many more.

Faculty