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What the %^&* Did I Just Say? Tackling, the Bold, the Bad, and the Ugly in Poems
What the %^&* Did I Just Say? Tackling, the Bold, the Bad, and the Ugly in Poems

Instructor: Maria Nazos

Genre: Poetry

Level: Beginning to Advanced

Length: 8-week Course

Dates: Thursdays, January 27 - March 17, 2022

Time: 6 to 8:30 pm CST

Format: Zoom

Limit: 8

Price: Member $500  Non-member $550


How do we interrogate meanness, retribution, and anger in our poems? How do we turn rage into light and heat? Most of all, how can we get away with being our best mean person on the page while remaining true to our ethics, integrity, humor, and readers? Get ready to curse, apologize for sins you’re secretly glad you committed, and reveal edgy confessions.

Throughout this eight-week generative course, we’ll investigate how we can project our unflinching humanity onto the page while remaining likable and approachable. We’ll explore various poets who manage to get away with risky confessions, potentially volatile statements, and controversial revelations, all the while asking ourselves, what keeps us as distant readers engaged? When are we turned off? Is there a way we can ethically invoke shock, discomfort, AND compassion toward ourselves, our subjects, and our readers?

A good part of the class will then be devoted to creating our own ethical “mean-person” on the page through a series of optional, guided writing prompts. You’ll also explore free-verse and lesser-known poetic forms and themes, including curses, apologies, and Eastern forms, including the list and senryu, which challenge our Western minds. We’ll have a wonderful time!

Maria Nazos’ poetry, translations, and essays are published in The New Yorker, Cherry Tree, Birmingham Review, North American Review, Denver Quarterly, and Mid-American Review. She is the author of A Hymn That Meanders (2011 Wising Up Press) and the chapbook Still Life (2016 Dancing Girl Press). Maria has received scholarships and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the University of Nebraska, where she took her PhD in Creative Writing, and the Vermont Studio Center. She lives with two crazy cats and a patient husband in Lincoln, Nebraska. You can find her at


Larksong is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are committed to supporting both the writers who come to us for instruction and the writers who come to us to teach. We keep our class fees low, offer free programming, and pay our instructors. Please consider supporting our mission by making a tax-deductible donation.