Poetry + Empathy + 21 Days of Writing in September

Like many of you, I am looking for meaningful ways to respond to what I see and feel and know. To become a better listener. To self-examine and evolve into a more conscious and compassionate human. With my words and deeds, to affect some small corner of the world for the better.

I try to lend my voice and imagination, hands and heart, to the ongoing project of human understanding, by taking care with the resources I share in my courses, in order to bring forth voices and experiences that have been historically marginalized—even erased from the record.

During the upcoming September 21 Day Poetry Challenge, which begins in two weeks, we’ll read primarily people of color, queer poets, and women. Our reading list includes selections from:

Layli Long Soldier
Juan Felipe Herrera
Kim Dower
Denise Levertov
Craig Santos Perez
Nikki Giovanni
Danez Smith
Nathalie Handal
Dorianne Laux
David Hernandez
Kaia Sand
Jillian Weise
& others

Literature fosters empathy. Through reading, we can better understand the lives of others, and the plurality that is our humanity. Writing deepens that connection, involving us in a process that brings us into repeated contact with the moral imagination.

In this online course, we’ll use daily poems and provocations to generate a body of new work, but more importantly, we will practice every day, so that our imaginations, our bodies, and our hearts will carry us into the new season, in which more must be possible. Something more beautiful and tender than before.

September 21 Day Poetry Challenge
Sept.1-21, 2017

Three weeks of daily readings, writing provocations, practical guidance, plus optional feedback on up to three new poems at the end.


Enroll in this online course right here, and participate from anywhere in the world. All you need is daily access to email.

If you join me next month, I’ll embolden the voices and impulses that exist within you, wanting space, time, and your attention. By the Autumn Equinox, you’ll have written far more than you would have otherwise, and you’ll have enjoyed doing so. If it’s your first time considering this experience, you can read the full course description on my website.


If you wish to participate in this writing experience, and need to pay by check, just get in touch and I will send you an invoice and mailing address.


New this season: If you would like to license this curriculum for your classroom, please get in touch. I am happy to work with high school, college, and independent workshops and writing groups that want to participate in this generative experience. (The seeds of this program were sown when I began teaching college creative writing and needed a curriculum, and this one will get your students writing and reading and thinking. Promise.)

poetry matters. join the conversation.

join my community


poetry matters. join the conversation.

join my community