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The Voice of the Poem: A Generative Workshop

November 2021

American poets Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux describe the voice of a poem as a “particular music unlike any other . . . that sense of a unique presence on the page.” In this course, we’ll tackle how best to invite your readers into your poems through practices that help you find your “particular music unlike any other,” whether you are writing in your own voice (first person) or in the voice of someone/something other than yourself (persona poem). This course is generative in nature, meaning we will write new work each week (asynchronously) and then meet together in an optional Zoom event at the end of each week to share what we’ve written. Each week I’ll post several readings and sample poems with prompts/exercises to work on during the week. You are encouraged to post your work from the prompts/exercises and to give each other constructive responses to the posted work. (I will comment on your posts throughout each week.) I will also have a very short video lecture to offer each week. This workshop can help us explore ways to claim our memories for ourselves and give ourselves permission to speak in our own voices. We’ll also explore ways to claim the essence of other voices and practice writing poems in persona. The course will offer you opportunities for reading, studying, writing and sharing within a supportive community of writers.

This class will be held beginning October 25th through November 14th with optional Zoom sessions at the end of the week, time to be determined between instructor and participants. 


Meet Your Instructor

Marianne Worthington is a poet, editor, and educator. She is editor and co-founder of Still: The Journal, an online literary magazine publishing writers, artists, and musicians with ties to Appalachia since 2009. Her work has appeared in Oxford American, CALYX, Shenandoah, Chapter 16, Feed, HeartWood, and in several literary anthologies, among other places. She received the Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council and artist’s grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship.

She co-edited, with Silas House, Piano in a Sycamore: Writing Lessons from the Appalachian Writers’ Workshop and is author of a poetry chapbook, Larger Bodies Than Mine. Her poetry collection is The Girl Singer from Fireside Industries/University Press of Kentucky. She grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and lives, writes, and teaches in southeast Kentucky.

You can find her on Twitter @m__worthington and at her website:


To purchase copies of Marianne Worthington’s books, we encourage you to support our local independent bookstore, the Read Spotted Newt, by purchasing through their store on

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