Diction: A Poet’s Choice

Loading Events

Should the language used in poetry be different from that used in everyday speech? For centuries it most definitely was…and then, thanks to William Wordsworth, things changed. In this workshop, we will examine what diction is and why understanding where certain words come from is essential to using and combining them effectively. Topics for discussion include the relationship between diction and tone, the difference between idiom and cliché, and the role of ambiguity. We will also talk about “poetic diction” and why it should be avoided.

About Sue Ellen Thompson

Sue Ellen Thompson the author of five books of poetry, including This Body of SilkTheyThe Golden Hour, and The Leaving: New and Selected Poems, as well as other publications. She is also the editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series, read on NPR by Garrison Keillor, and featured in U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s nationally-syndicated newspaper column. She taught at Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, State University of New York at Binghamton, and Central Connecticut State University before moving to the Eastern Shore in 2006. She was awarded the 2010 Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association. More about her at: sueellenthompson.com.

Teaching style: Sue Ellen is serious about craft. As a result, she tends to be very organized in her approach to teaching a workshop and averse to letting the discussion wander off-target. I am very serious about craft--what I can teach adult students that will help them write better poems. As a result, I tend to be very organized in my approach to teaching a workshop and averse to letting the discussion wander off-target. Many poets, even those with graduate degrees, lack formal education in areas such as metaphor, line breaks, revision, tone, syntax, and organizing a manuscript. Her goal is to fill in the gaps and give poets the tools they need to writing moving, well-crafted poems.


18 seats available
Workshopnon-member price
Have you read our refund policy?