Cave Canem Presents Laboratory Poetics: Minneapolis Public Reading with Danez Smith

Emerging poets from Danez Smiths’s Minneapolis Regional Workshop “Laboratory Poetics” share new work. 

Poets often reach towards specific forms in order to propel or control a poem, they also might be reaching for a bit of challenge or exploration, but what if we go beyond sonnets or sestinas and instead choose an experiment of our own design? While free verse poetry has always been a succulent wilderness to venture into in search of a poem, the constraints, and encouragements of a bespoke form have allowed for reverberations that would not have been found unless constructed in the limits of invented form. “Constraint” doesn’t always mean limitation when it comes to form. Constraints are agreements between the poet and the form. A constraint can be used to hinder or control, but it can also encourage abundance and play. In this workshop, we will explore the wonders found in recently invented forms like the Bop, the burning haibun, and the Molotov sonnet before turning our attention to forms we pattern ourselves. This workshop is for those looking to push the limits on their work and those looking to take the brakes off completely.