Poetry ~ Nicky Beer

Saeed Jones’ Alive at the End of the World: A Generative Workshop

Published in 2022, Saeed Jones’ Alive at the End of the World is an exhilarating book that investigates apocalyptic ideas across the personal and global spectrums, “its disillusions and griefs and intimacies spilling across the page but balanced by punctuating pleasures: of love, of sex, of being alive.” (Library Journal). Jones’ collection is a rich trove for poets to study: sequences, personae, episodic narrative, formal innovation, wit, anguish, defiance, and self-interrogation all expand notions of both what a poem can be, and what a book of poems can be. We’ll do exercises inspired by Jones’ work and workshop those poems. Ultimately, we’ll consider how Jones’ poems can act not just as models, but challenges to ourselves about the risks we can take as artists. All workshop members will be expected to have read Jones’ book by our first meeting, and bring copies with them.

Nicky Beer is a bi/queer writer, and the author of The Octopus Game (Carnegie Mellon, 2015) and The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon, 2010), both winners of the Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Her awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a MacDowell Fellowship, a fellowship and a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a Mary Wood Fellowship from Washington College, a Discovery/The Nation Award, and a Campbell Corner Prize. Her poems have been published in Best American PoetryPoetryThe NationThe New Yorker, The Southern ReviewKenyon Review, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, where she is a poetry editor for the journal Copper Nickel.

Her third book of poems, Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes, was published by Milkweed Editions March 2022. It was named a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry.