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Poetry Palooza - Winter/Spring 2023

Poetry Palooza Panel

*** All Times are listed in EST ***

February 7, 2023
7:00 - 8:30 PM EST

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Join IWWG with your host Trish Hopkinson for an evening of celebration and a panel discussion on growth and renewal for creative writers. We’ll be announcing the upcoming poetry programming, including both paid and no cost virtual events and workshops, and gathering together poets, writers, and educators, to talk about growth and renewal for creatives in the new year–how to find inspiration for generating new work with a focus on artistic growth through craft and revision. Our award-winning panelists include:

Moderated by: Trish Hopkinson


  • Alina Stefanescu, poet, author, and bibliomaniac
  • Khalisa Rae, poet, educator, and journalist
  • Sherre Vernon, poet, educator, and mentor
  • Allison Joseph, poet, professor, and founder of CRWROPPS (Creative Writers Opportunities List)
  • Jenn Givhan, poet, novelist, and mentor

Trish Hopkinson is a poet, blogger, and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at and provisionally in Utah, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets and folds poems to fill Poemball machines for Provo Poetry. Her poetry has been published in several literary magazines and journals, including Tinderbox, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review, and her fourth chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. Hopkinson happily answers to labels such as atheist, feminist, and empty nester; and enjoys traveling, live music, and her day job as a software product director.

Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a poet, writer, translator, and essayist whose work can be found in literary journals and various anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2022,What Things Cost: An Anthology for the People (University Press of Kentucky, 2023), Stronger Than Fear (Cave Moon Press, 2022), The Best Small Fictions (Sonder Press, 2021), Choice Words: Writers on Abortion (Haymarket Press, 2020), Writer’s Resist Anthology (Running Wild Press, 2018), For Love of Orcas Anthology (Wandering Aengus Press, 2019), and annual anthologies from Orison Press and Bending Genres. 

Khalisa Rae is an award-winning multi-hyphenate poet, educator, and journalist based in Durham, NC. She is best known for her community activism and nonprofit management as the co-founder of Poet.she, the Invisibility Project, and Athenian Press- QPOC writer’s collective, resource center, and bookstore in Wilmington, NC. Currently, Khalisa is a 4-time Best of the Net nominee, multi-Pushcart Prize nominee, and the author of the 2021 debut collection, Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat, from Red Hen Press. As a champion for Black queer narratives, Khalisa’s articles appear in Fodor’s,Autostraddle, Vogue, Catapult, LitHub, Bitch Media,  Black Femme Collective,, NBC-BLK, and others. 

Sherre Vernon (she/her/hers) is the author of two award-winning chapbooks: Green Ink Wings and The Name is Perilous. Sherre has been published in journals such as TAB and The Chestnut Review, nominated for Best of the Net, and anthologized in several collections including Fat & Queer and Best Small Fictions. Flame Nebula, Bright Nova, her full-length poetry collection, is available. To read more visit and tag Sherre into conversation @sherrevernon.

Allison Joseph lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University.  Born in London, England to parents of Caribbean heritage, Allison Joseph grew up in Toronto, Canada, and the Bronx, New York. A graduate of Kenyon College and Indiana University, she serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, the publisher of No Chair Press, and the director of Writers In Common, a writing conference for writers of all ages and experience levels. In 2014, she was awarded a Doctor of Letters honorary degree from her undergraduate alma mater, Kenyon College. Her latest full-length book of poetry, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman, was published by Red Hen Press in 2018. 

Jenn is a Mexican-American and indigenous poet and novelist (author of Trinity Sight and Jubilee), who grew up in the Imperial Valley, a small, border community in the Southern California desert. Her family has ancestral ties to the indigenous peoples of New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico including Ysleta del Sur and the Tigua Indian peoples of the Ysleta region of El Paso. Jenn’s poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction has appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, Best of the Net, Best New Poets, AGNI, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares,POETRY, Boston Review, Crazyhorse, Blackbird, The Kenyon Review,New England Review, Salon, The Rumpus, and Prairie Schooner, among many others.

Sonnetmania: A Workshop on Contemporary Sonnets

*Please note all times are listed in EST**

February 11 - March 4
11:00 am - 12:30 pm EST

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A generative, 4-session workshop exploring various innovative, contemporary sonnet forms, including: double sonnets, shadow sonnets, American Sonnets, dedicated sonnets, contrapuntal modes, sonnet coronas, sonnet ballades, curtal sonnets, ekphrastic sonnets, and sonnets in translation. We will flirt with the feel of the sonnet, to paraphrase Marvin Bell, in all its raptures, laments, and furies—assuming an atmosphere of trust, respect, and confidentiality, writers will read sonnets, write sonnets, and share their work with one another, if they desire.  Sonnetmania is open to all levels. Pre-registration required. Limited to 15 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis. This workshop is influenced and inspired by The American Sonnet: An Anthology of Poems and Essays(Iowa University Press, January, 2023), edited by Dora Malech and Laura T. Smith — a treasure for sonnet-lovers. 

Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Recent books include a creative nonfiction chapbook, Ribald (Bull City Press Inch Series, Nov. 2020) and Dor, which won the Wandering Aengus Press Prize (September, 2021). Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Books Prize (April 2018). Alina's poems, essays, and fiction can be found in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, World Literature Today, Pleiades, Poetry, BOMB, Crab Creek Review, and others. She serves as poetry editor for several journals, reviewer and critic for others, and Co-Director of PEN America's Birmingham Chapter. She has served as a judge for numerous literary prizes, including the River Heron Review Poetry Prize, FRiction Literary Prize for Flash Fiction, F. Scott Fitzgerald Museum & Foundation Writing Prize, Poetry Foundation’s Pegasus Award for Literary Criticism, among others. She is currently working on a novel-like creature. More online

Magical Realism and the Power of Place: From Hauntings to Home, Using Magic and Myth to Craft Powerful Poetry & Prose
**Please note all times are listed in EST**

March 18, 2023
11:30am - 1:00 pm EST

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Come with Khalisa on this fantastical journey that blends the magical and the real. Where people have wings, horses can talk, and messages appear on the walls. Magical realism is an honored tradition that dates back centuries, and has been used by some of literature's greatest writers to break and bend what the mind believes as possible, particularly by Black and Indigenous writers. In this writing intensive workshop, we will walk through how place, setting, and innate objects can come alive in your poetry with magic and wonder. Using literary greats, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Angela Carter, Franni Choi, Ben Okri, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, and Isabel Allende we'll look at examples that span diverse cultures and traditions. Transform your writing by leaving the natural world and exploring the supernatural and how it enhances and illuminates poetry and story.

Khalisa Rae is an award-winning storyteller, poet, and activist, and the author of the acclaimed poetry collection, Ghost in a Black Girls Throat, the chapbook, Real Girls, Have Real Problems,and the sold-out play production, 7+ Deadly Sins of Being a Woman. As a arts and humanities historian and  lover of Black Southern narratives, stories and poetry have been featured in the Cameron Art Museum, Southern Humanities Review Anthology, NC Museum of History and more. A lifelong advocate for women's rights and steward and literary education, Khalisa has taught on both the collegiate level, public school, and is a former Catapult instructor. As a trained performer and playwright, her powerful work has been featured in countless literary journals and magazines such as Pinch, PANK, Autumn House, Jezebel, Bitch Media, Blavity, NBC-BLK. Her powerful feminist poetry has landed her an Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Award, a Gwendolyn Brooks Prize, numerous Pushcart nominations, among countless others. Khalisa Rae is currently the founder of Think in Ink: BIPOC Literary Collective, Women Speak reading series, and the forthcoming YA novel in verse, Unlearning Eden. Find her online at

Renew (by Disrupting) Your Poetry Practice

**Please note all times are listed in EST**

Begins March 6, for 8 weeks (until April 24)
12:00 - 2:00 pm EST

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“When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools, / dig a way out through the bottom / to the ocean,” Rumi counsels in his poem “The Worst Habit” (translated by Coleman Barks). Some habits move our lives forward; some keep us stuck in a pattern. Do you keep writing the same ol’ poem? Sure, the words are different, the subject matter is different, but what about your language usage, your poetic moves and strategies, your structure? Do you vary how you write? We will engage in inventive (but not gimmicky) exercises designed to disrupt our habitual ways of writing so we can generate poems that are revelatory—for the writer and the reader—in both content and form.

Marj Hahne is a freelance editor, writer, and writing teacher, and a 2015 MFA graduate from the Rainier Writing Workshop, with a concentration in poetry. She has performed and taught at over 100 venues around the country, as well as been featured on public radio and television programs. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art exhibits, and dance performances. Committed to making poetry hospitable for everyone, she launched a YouTube channel featuring videos in which she reads poems to dogs and pairs poems with craft beers, craft spirits, and coffees.



Building Poems from Scraps:
Making Old Things New

**Please note all times are listed in EST** 

March 19, 2023
1:00 - 4:00 pm EST

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For this workshop, you will be asked to bring drafts of old poems that aren’t “working” for you. These might be finished poems, or they might be scraps of incomplete poems, sentences or paragraphs. We will use several techniques to infuse new life into them. You will leave the workshop with at least one new draft that surprises you. Writers who are new to poetry, but have old bits of prose to repurpose, are welcome.

Sherre Vernon (she/her/hers) is the award-winning author of Green Ink Wings (Elixir Press) and The Name is Perilous (Power of Poetry). Her debut full-length poetry collection, Flame Nebula, Bright Nova was released in 2022 by Main Street Rag. Sherre has been published in journals such as TAB and The Chestnut Review, nominated for Best of the Net, and anthologized in several collections including Fat & Queer and Best Small Fictions. Read more of her work at

Credit/Refund Policy: If you withdraw from a workshop or class:

  • At least 10 business days prior to class: you will receive a full refund or credit towards another class
  • 9 business days prior to class until 1 business day before: you will receive a credit towards another class
  • Within 1 business day : you will receive no refund or credit.

Please note that notification of withdrawal must be processed via email writers@iwwg.orgIf IWWG must cancel a class for any reason, we will provide a full refund or credit towards another workshop. 

Contact Us!

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Phone: (617) 792-7272

Mailing Address:

The International Women’s Writing Guild

888 8th Avenue, #537
New York, NY 10019

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