Wray | The Sentence Asks, the Line Answers

Tobias Wray

Every great poem understands its relationship to sentence structure thoroughly. Indeed, as Mary Kinzie notes, the line and the sentence are “the most important and interdependent of all the features of poetry.” Foundational to literary thought, the sentence comprises a set of words complete in itself. How a line break uses, distorts, and even subverts our more common contracts with language is essential to understanding how to read or write any poem. Through a series of writing exercises, this session offers strategies for how to radically play with our most familiar building blocks. We begin by appreciating what we already know and, bending it a little, relax into the kind of play that often proves supremely generative.