The Art of Voice in Poetry

This is a fully online class. There are no in-person meetings.

The Art of Voice in Poetry (10 weeks)–$350

  • June 21-August 27 (with a break for July 4): $350
  • Registration Deadline: June 10, 2021

Ten spots available, first-come, first served.

email to register 
or for more information

The world is constantly telling you to “find your voice” as poet. What is voice? How do you find it? How do you bring in the voices of others in an ethical and effective way? Can you speak in a voice that is not yours? Who really is the speaker in your poems? Is it you? Is it a version of you that you have constructed? What authority do you have to say what you are saying, anyway?

These are questions that most poets think about when they think about voice.

In this brand-new class, we will be working our way, week by week, through Tony Hoagland’s excellent recent book, The Art of Voice: Poetic Principles and Practice. Each week, we will read a chapter (or occasionally two) of the book, discuss, and then write a poem draft from a prompt based on the ideas of that week’s chapter(s). It will be necessary for participants to have a copy of the book, either print or electronic.

Topics covered in this 10-week session include:

  • What do we mean by “voice” in poetry?
  • What is our relationship to our reader?
  • How formal or informal can or should we be with our language, and what effects are created by these choices?
  • How do we bring other voices into our poems?
  • How do we draw from our environments to create voice?
  • What authority do we have to say anything to or about the world?

The book’s chapters are short, but introduce many interesting ideas, ripe for discussion and creativity.

Participants will come out of the class with at least 10 new poem drafts with constructive feedback from both class members and LouAnn Muhm, as well as a raft of new ideas both from the book and from lively class discussions of the ideas presented in it.


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