Order & Disorder in Poetry Discovering Your Poetic Threshold



The term "threshold" here, from Gregory Orr, stands for that place in poetry where disorder and order meet. It is the place where urgent and significant poems are written. Each poem has a threshold, and we read in hopes of finding poems that will take us to our own threshold or show us a new persuasive one.

In this workshop we will examine Orr's notions of threshold, order, and disorder in poetry. We will look at contemporary poems and examine how these notions of threshold, order, and disorder fit various poems and examine how people's poetic threshold differ (e.g. some people prefer an ordered sonnet to a more post-modern disjunctive piece, or vice versa. 

Finally we will engage in poetic writing exercises that are aimed to help each participant discover and expand their own poetic threshold. Learning various ways to add more order or disorder into your writing/poems, for instance, can really change the energy of their pieces. 

Orr's notion of threshold steers people away from what makes a poem "good" or "bad." As he states, "To say that we find a poem “boring” is another way of saying that it doesn’t bring us close to any threshold in us. To say that a poem seems to us “meaningless chaos” is just another way of saying that it throws us way out past our threshold. No one “wins” these arguments about taste, because they are really just disguised ways of discussing our own thresholds."

When is this class offered? This class is offered for one session on Saturday, March 28 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30  p.m. at MatchBOX Coworking Studio in Lafayette. The class costs $48.  

Who is the instructor? Kyle D. Craig is a licensed mental health counselor, a Butler MFA student in Poetry, and an instructor for the Indiana Writers Center. His poems have appeared in The Louisville Review, Sou'wester, Blue Earth Review, Tar River Poetry, North Dakota Quarterly, Indiana Humanities, and Not Like the Rest of Us: An Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers. He was twice a finalist for the Wabash Watershed Poetry Award sponsored by former Indiana Poet Laureate George Kalamaras, and the winner of the poetry scholarship for the 2018 Indiana University Writers Conference. His first book, *Invisible Tea* (Red Moon Press, 2016), a collection of haiku, haibun, and tanka, won an honorable mention from the Haiku Society of America.