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The Frost Place Studio Sessions Learning from Nina Simone

An Introductory Chapbook Seminar
September 11, 18, and 25, 2021

Poets at Work Session

In 1958, the great singer, songwriter, and pianist Nina Simone released her first album, Little Girl Blue, a gorgeous collection that reveals her debts to both classical music and jazz and hints at the unique and idiosyncratic style she would hone in the coming decades.

How can poets learn from a musician’s approach to creating an album? In this multipart seminar we will consider some first steps in organizing a sheaf of poems. Using Simone’s debut album as our touchstone, we’ll consider how our individual poems can work together to create a web of themes, and we’ll experiment with ways to create dramatic movement and variety within those themes. Our goal will be to develop an architecture that you can use as a foundation for constructing a future chapbook.

The seminar will meet via Zoom on September 11, 18, and 25, 2021, and participants will also share feedback about each other’s work between sessions.