Workshop: Living with Loss—In the House of Relinquenda with Alexandra Lytton Regalado


"and so much lost      you’d think / beauty had left a lesson”: Poetry & Grief

Presented with the Poetry Coalition as part of shared programming around a theme of social importance, and in partnership with Letras Latinas. "and so much lost      you’d think / beauty had left a lesson” is from Ed Roberson's poem "once the magnolia has blossomed." 

Letting go is not a thing you do once. It’s a thing you do over and over again. Loss does not knock on the door and ask if it can enter. It steps right into our lives, without regard to the current scene. Life does not keep a balance sheet of losses; they can accumulate and sometimes come back-to-back. Loss is multi-faceted in its heaviness; it can range from a rejection, an unexpected life transition, the end of a relationship, to a serious illness, a tragic accident, the death of a loved one—all result in an injury, a severing, an absence. Loss is the shared condition that binds us together.

How do we receive loss? With indignation? With resignation? With acceptance? In this course, we will work on processing our grief through writing. We will begin with a discussion of selected readings that focus on death, grief, and pain and then move on to short writing exercises based on a selection of prompts. Students will receive personalized feedback from the instructor and, depending on the size of the group and their personal preferences, have a chance to share and/or workshop one or two pieces with the entire group.

Each participant will receive a copy of Relinquendagenerously sponsored by Letras Latinas.

ALEXANDRA LYTTON REGALADO is the author of Relinquenda: Poems, winner of the National Poetry Series (Beacon Press, 2022); the chapbook Piedra (La Chifurnia, 2022); and the poetry collection, Matria, the winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award (Black Lawrence Press, 2017). Alexandra holds fellowships at CantoMundo and Letras Latinas; she is winner of the Coniston Prize, and her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-DayBOMBNarrativeWorld Literature TodayGulf Coast, and Creative Nonfiction, among others. Her translations of contemporary Salvadoran poetry appear in Poetry International and FENCE. Co-founder of Kalina Press, Alexandra is author, editor, and/or translator of more than fifteen Central America–themed books.