Telling it Straight or Slant: Poetry and #MeToo
Instructor: Becca Klaver

UPDATE: Due to the coming winter storm, this workshop is going to be postponed one week, and will now take place on Saturday, January 26, 2-4pm, and the MWC office in the Downtown Rock Island Public Library.

So, if you want to attend but couldn’t make it on 1/19, hopefully now you can! And for those who have registered but won’t be able to make it next week, not to worry—Becca Klaver has graciously agreed to allow us to film the workshop, so we will share it privately with anyone who registered and can’t make it next week, along with sending them a copy of the reading packet Becca is preparing (which is sure to be amazing). Not exactly like being there, but we hope this will be the next best thing and allow everyone who wants to attend to participate in some way.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and if you have any questions, please contact us at or 309-732-7330. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Sat. 1/26! Please be safe & have a good weekend… Thanks & best, MWC

When: Saturday, January 19 January 26, 2019 – 2-4pm
Where: Midwest Writing Center (ground floor of Rock Island Public Library Downtown Branch – 401 19th St., Rock Island, IL)
Cost: $15 for MWC Members, $20 for Non-Members, Free for high school and college students. Scholarships available for those with financial need — contact MWC for more info.

Telling it Straight or Slant: Poetry and #MeToo

In the age of #MeToo, when survivors are sharing their stories directly and publicly, what does it mean to “tell all the truth but tell it slant,” as Emily Dickinson put it? What kinds of stories can poems tell, and how? In this workshop, we will explore poetry’s ability to reckon with the past through narrative, imagery, fragment, silence, and other methods. In response to a brief tour of American poetry from Confessionalism to the present, we will first look at and write poetry that uses straightforward storytelling to reweave a sense of wholeness; then, we will consider what poetry can do that traditional narrative cannot by writing poems that use formal structures to gesture toward loss and the unspeakable.

This class does not assume that participants possess any particular life experiences or poetic knowledge; everyone is welcome.

To register, please use the PayPal link below, or call 309-732-7330 to register by phone.Please contact Ryan Collins at if you have any questions about the workshop.

What school do you attend?

About the Instructor:

Becca Klaver is the author of two books of poetry—LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010) and Empire Wasted (Bloof Books, 2016)—and several chapbooks. Black Lawrence Press will publish her third full-length collection, Ready for the World, in 2020. Her poems, which explore place, gender, American culture, and virtual and physical realities, have appeared in The American Poetry ReviewFencejubilat, Gramma Weekly, The &NOW Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writingand on Verse Daily and Poem-A-Day. The 2018-2020 Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College, she currently lives in Iowa City, IA.