Speculative Poetry

Member Price: $65 / General Public: $75

2 Sessions: Wednesday, Nov 11, 7 – 8:30 pm Part I / Wednesday, Nov 18, 7 – 8 pm Part II

Deadline to Register: November 4, 5 pm

Instructor: Akua Lezli Hope

Speculative poetry is an ever-widening expanse of verse creation, embracing elements of science fiction, fantasy, fairy tales, horror, and more. Our earliest recorded storytelling was verse tales of the imagined. Verse was the first vehicle to convey our imaginations through the dark and to the heavens. Speculative poetry is ancient of days, older than the flood, and as new as tomorrow with roots in Gilgamesh, the Odyssey, the Ramayana, and Beowulf, as well as the many mythologies and folklore that populate our world. In this workshop, we will read an array of speculative poems to glean insights into their approaches to storytelling, mythmaking, and pathbreaking. We also will spend time writing, using creative prompts to generate new speculative verse. Readings will feature poems from Ray Bradbury, Jane Yolen, Linda Addison, Bryan Thao Worra, Mary Soon Lee, and Christina Sng.

A third-generation New Yorker, firstborn, wisdom seeker, Akua Lezli Hope is a lifetime member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. She’s won a NEA fellowship, two NYFA fellowships, and a Ragdale U.S.-Africa Fellowship. A Cave Canem fellow, she’s won scholarships for the Hurston-Wright Writers’ Program and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Her first collection, Embouchure: Poems on Jazz and Other Musics, won the Writer’s Digest poetry book award. Her poem “Metis Emits” won the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s short poem award. Her poems have been nominated for the Rhysling and (two) Pushcart Prize. Her collection, Them Gone, was published in 2018. She is published in numerous literary magazines and national anthologies, including The 100 Best African American Poems and DARK MATTER, the first anthology of African American Science Fiction. She is working on her grant-supported project, “Words on Wheels,” creating poetry art cards for the frail elderly in her community.