Doesn’t a poet always have something to say? Yes, they do. Isn’t that the prerequisite for writing? Yes, they do, and yes it is. Should all poems be read aloud? Yes, indeed. I contend that “voice” of a poem it not just a poet’s aesthetic, or style, but rather it can be considered character speech. Creating that credible voice is crucial to the success of the poem. The poem as “spoken” is the goal. The primary tools for creating voice are syntax and diction. We will close-read works from selected poets to create poems that reflect the concerns, rhythms, and languages of our current American lives. Think of the dramatic monologue as a structure to deliver the word. We want to shape and the poems which will ring truths on the page and in the ear. Word!