An Exploration of Poetry
Methods & Movements

  with Elline Lipkin in Pasadena

Eight Wednesdays
7:30 to 9:30 pm
October 16 to December 11, 2019
(with no class on November 27)


In this eight-week workshop, students will be introduced to various contemporary poetry movements and try a series of accompanying, generative assignments. We will look at poetry of witness, ecopoetics, hybrid forms, Language poetry, erasure forms, spoken word poetry, and the remaking of the American sonnet, among others. Students will read authors representative of each movement and try a range of exercises to spark their poetry practice in new ways. There will be weekly workshopping of student poems within a welcoming environment and the chance to build a supportive literary community. 

This class is open to students at all levels and will take place in Pasadena, where wine, sparkling water, and the occasional gourmet snack will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
$420 for new students; $380 for returning students
(Payment plans available to returning students.)

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Elline Lipkin is a scholar and poet who has edited for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and journals. Her collection of poetry The Errant Thread was chosen by Eavan Boland for the Kore Press First Book Award. Her second book, Girls’ Studies, explores contemporary girlhood in America and was published by Seal Press. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature. She is widely published as a poet and her nonfiction writing has appeared in, Ms., and other contemporary sources. A former resident at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Contemporary Arts, and Dorland, Elline has been a speaker at the Napa Valley Writers Conference and the Writer-in-Residence at the Paper & Book Intensive. Elline has taught creative writing to students of all ages and was until recently the Poet Laureate of Altadena. 


“I highly recommend Elline’s poetry class! It seems to me an emerging poet (or any writer really) seeks encouragement and open-hearted readings in equal measure to insightful critique and practical editing. Elline Lipkin, a working poet, delivers it all. Elline instantly creates an environment that is honest and inclusive and open to all forms of poetry. She offers wonderful in-class exercises and shares valuable knowledge about craft and intention. Elline provides many articles, links and books that seem almost like an additional course. She is great at eliciting all of the poets to participate in providing specific and actionable feedback.” —Buffy Shutt

“Elline Lipkin was a kind, generous, and encouraging teacher with a wealth of knowledge about poetry. She created a workshop environment where each student could bring their voice to the table, no matter how different our poetic styles were. She thoughtfully considered everyone’s comments during discussions, had helpful recommendations about our work, and was very responsive to requests to talk about our poetry outside of class. It was a pleasure to spend my evenings with Elline and our workshop group!” —Claire Cronin

"Elline Lipkin‘s workshop is as good as—if not better than—the workshops and craft classes I had during my poetry MFA.” —Kevin Giberson

“I’ve attended two consecutive WWLA poetry classes taught by Elline Lipkin and I will return again. Elline is a wonderfully knowledgeable teacher and working poet. She brings fresh content to each class and presents a curriculum designed to stretch her students’ skills. Additionally, and very importantly, Elline is a great champion of her students’ work.” —Merna Skinner

“Elline Lipkin‘s teaching approach is well balanced. We spent about equal time examining a wealth of poetry from an eclectic variety of noted poets, and the poetry of fellow class members. We studied a broad range of poetry types and styles, making sure to spend sufficient time on the more difficult aspects in order to dig deep enough to gain a more thorough understanding. Her criticism is gentle and supportive, but also very enlightening in helping each poet develop his strengths and eliminate his weaknesses. Having the class in someone’s home also added to the experience. It was very fun and informal and I believe helped everyone to be more open with their poetry and critiques.” —David Slavin