EventsMaster Class

Relish in the Wreck: The Joy of Revising Poetry

Add helpful resources, techniques, language, and processes to your poetry revision toolkit! Led by poet and editor Elisabeth Blair.

Revising poetry doesn’t have to be a soul-crushing, frustrating, or discouraging slog. It can be delightful to sort through and identify the essential parts of a poem, interrogate our core intentions, and jovially crash and burn our way to a version that we feel joyful about.

In this workshop, we’ll explore:

  • A wide variety of approaches to revision to add to your toolkit, pulled from my own and many other poets’ approaches (with attribution)
  • The language of revision:
  • How to create and integrate encouraging language and processes (think: using a blue pen rather than a red one, or writing “PMI”—an abbreviation for Potential for More Impact—next to a verse instead of “Bad”)
  • How to name what is or is not working for you—tips for building a vocabulary to help you more precisely identify the often complex and interlaced reasons for why you “like” or “don’t like” a line or a poem (or any artwork, for that matter!)
  • Opportunity for revision time during the workshop to work on your poetry, with an optional group sharing and supportive discussion of before-and-after drafts
  • A digital PDF packet full of resources, including handy reference charts

All are welcome! Poets with zero experience or a lifetime of experience; appreciators of poetry; artists who write in other genres or work in other disciplines; and anyone else curious about the revision process.

To get the most out of the workshop, writers may wish to come prepared with a poem or two to revise.


Elisabeth Blair is a poet with a multidisciplinary background in writing, visual art, music composition & performance, podcasting, and improvisation. A full-length collection of poetry is forthcoming in 2022 from Unsolicited Press. Her other publications include two chapbooks—without saying (Ethel Press 2020) and We He She/It (Dancing Girl Press, 2016)—and poems in a variety of journals, including Harpur Palate (forthcoming), Feminist Studies, cream city review, and Juked. Based in Vermont, she leads poetry workshops and works as a freelance editor and manuscript consultant.