S234. Can, Shouldn't, Could: Ethics in the Poetry Workshop

Grand Salon C, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Many poets have turned to an overt focus on ethics, while others resist writing that clearly springs from moral principles. Still other poets are ethically tone-deaf. Would questions of what a poem can or shouldn’t do be better addressed if we identified ethical frameworks in the workshop, in addition to poetic traditions and techniques? And would learning how to have these conversations in the classroom, rather than on social media, help us build a better poetry community?



Megan Levad is the author of Why We Live in the Dark Ages and What Have I to Say to You. A Summer 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow, her poems have appeared in Tin House, Fence, and Granta Online, among other publications. Megan also writes song lyrics; her first opera, Kept, premiered last May.

Jeffrey Schultz is the author of two National Poetry Series selections: Civil Twilight and What Ridiculous Things We Could Ask of Each Other. His poems have been published widely and he is a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Pepperdine University.

Samiya Bashir’s three books of poetry are Field Theories, Gospel, and Where the Apple Falls. Sometimes she makes poems of dirt. Sometimes zeros and ones. Sometimes variously rendered text. Sometimes light. A magic cat occasionally crashes her classes and poetry salon programs at Reed College.

Dan Lau, a Kundiman fellow, has received grants and scholarships from APICC, GAPA, Queer Cultural Center, San Francisco Arts Commission, and FAWC. His poetry has appeared in Red Light Lit, Crate, Gesture, Rhino, The Collagist, the anthology, Flicker and Spark, and is forthcoming in Colorado Review.

Joshua Robbins is the author of Praise Nothing and his recognitions include the James Wright Poetry Award, the New South Prize, and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Poetry. He is associate professor of English and creative writing at the University of the Incarnate Word.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center