Spanner, Slammer, Socket: Building a Poet’s Toolbox with Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

My Account
List Price: $199.00
This item is currently unavailable or out of stock.

In this four-week course, those new to poetry will be introduced to essential craft tools and be given plenty of exercises for building new work with added guidance for tightening what materializes on the page. We will be paying special attention to figurative language, imagery, sound, line and word choice, as the building blocks to creating fresh and compelling poetry.

Are you unsure how to create a metaphor? Are the differences between assonance, consonance and alliteration unclear? No worries! In this class you will learn core poetry terms and have time to practice wielding each one. And through practice you will begin to discover which tools best serve your individual style and voice.

This course is designed for novice poets looking to build a base for their work and for prose writers looking to incorporate poetry elements into their work.


April 2 - April 30, 2018


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

Identify poetry terms with attention to figurative language, sound, imagery, and line

Practice learned poetry elements by writing new work each week

Share work with peers for feedback, while providing feedback to others

Revise a poem created within the class to further understand how to craft a poem


In Week 1 we will learn to identify and practice figurative language

In Week 2 we will learn to identify and practice imagery

In Week 3 we will learn to identify and practice sound

In Week 4 we will tighten our poems through revision paying attention to line and word choice


Read Poetry:Each week students will read contemporary poems for examples of mastery of particular tools and discuss the reading with peers in an online forum

Writing exercises: Students will use weekly readings as jumping off points for writing exercises and experimentations

Workshop: Students will post their poems in the online forum for peer feedback and give feedback on other’s work.

Revision: Students will be encouraged to process peer and professor feedback in order to use the most helpful notes to craft one final, polished piece of poetry.


Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications 2016), a 2016-2017 Steinbeck Fellow, former Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grantee. She’s received residencies from Hedgebrook and Ragdale Foundation and is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry is published in American Poetry Review, CALYX, crazyhorse, and Tahoma Literary Review among others. A short dramatization of her poem "Our Lady of the Water Gallons," directed by Jesús Salvador Treviño, can be viewed at She is a cofounder of Women Who Submit and the curator of HITCHED.