A permanent home and museum for poets and poetry

The Frost Place Studio Sessions– Learning from Nina Simone: An Introductory Chapbook Seminar

Three Consecutive Sundays: September 12, 19, and 26, 2021

Applications are now closed. Please visit us again soon for upcoming programs!


Dawn Potter

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 three consecutive Sunday afternoons in September, and participants will also share feedback about each other’s work between sessions.

This online seminar is open to any poet who has published at least two poems in a literary journal and is now beginning to think about how to collect some finished pieces into a short manuscript.

Cost: $200. Class size is limited to 6 participants. Be prepared to bring 10 finished or close-to-finished poems to this seminar. You will need to have access to Nina Simone’s album Little Girl Blue, which is available on Spotify or can be purchased in hard copy.