This workshop-style course will serve as an introduction to writing poetry and memoir, with special attention paid to the ways writers blur the lines between genres. Students will craft their own original pieces in this community-based classroom, where we will read and comment on each other’s work as well as on assigned readings, including work by Claudia Rankine, Mark Doty, Lyn Hejinian, and Bhanu Kapil. We will focus first on formal elements of poetry, including image, juxtaposition, sound, and repetition, before moving on to elements of prose memoir, such as voice, perspective, narrative structure, and representations of memory. In addition to regular weekly workshops of student work, we will use in-class exercises and experiments to push the boundaries of our own writing. Course requirements include thoughtful and committed class participation, regular writing assignments, and a final portfolio of writing from the semester.