Part of the 2022 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival
Elmore Leonard famously suggested that writers use 1-2 exclamation points per 100,000 words of writing. Theodor Adorno called the exclamation point “intolerable.” Emily Dickinson used around 384 exclamation points in her collected work, and her wielding of this controversial mark has provided an exemplary model of how poets might add a note of ecstasy and death-consciousness into their writing. In this workshop, we will begin by discussing three primary modes in which exclamation points appear in contemporary poetry and then segue into a series of light-hearted and serious writing exercises centered around this piece of punctuation.
About the poet:
Moriel Rothman-Zecher is the author of the novels Sadness Is a White Bird (Atria, 2018) for which he received the National Book Foundation’s ‘5 Under 35’ Honor, and Before All the World, which will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on October 11, 2022. His poetry and essays have been published or are forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Colorado Review, The Common, The New York Times, The Paris Review’s Daily, Zyzzyva and elsewhere, and he is the recipient of two MacDowell Fellowships for Literature, and a Bennington Writing Seminars Donald Hall Scholarship for Poets.
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