Plot, Structure, Stances:  Tony Hoagland on the Craft of Poetry

Four Wednesdays, March 2, 9, 23, and 30, 6:00–7:30 p.m. | Private Residence; address will be given to subscribers Limited Enrollment

Maybe you like poetry and read it, but you would find it difficult to explain why one poem is a good poem and why another fails. Or maybe you feel left out by poems and would like to know what the secret is to reading them with pleasure and acumen. Each of these four weeks, Tony Hoagland will lead us as we read and discuss, at some length, just two or three or four good poems that embody the following particular psychological stances and also teach us something of the craft of poetry. 

March 2: Reticence—Poems that say more by saying less

March 9: Maximalist Associative—Poems that throw a lot of spaghetti at the wall

March 23: Irony—Irony as shield, irony as sword, irony as fashion

March 30: Eros and Elegy—The old reasons: Kisses and lilies

Tony Hoagland teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston and at Warren Wilson College. His most recent book is Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (Graywolf Press, 2010), and his collection of poems, What Narcissism Means to Me (Graywolf Press, 2003), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the O. B. Hardison Prize for Poetry and Teaching from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the 2005 Mark Twain Award of the Poetry Foundation in recognition of his contribution to humor in American poetry, and many others. He has also received many prestigious fellowships and grants.



Fall 2018 brochures are out! Please let us know if you did not receive one and we will be happy to send one to you.

Registration is now open. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


The interest list for the fall and spring study tours is also now open. If you are interested in traveling with the Houston Seminar to Natchez in the fall of 2018 or Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy.


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. Please contact the registrar if you would like to be wait listed for this course. 


Have a great summer. We look forward to seeing you this fall!


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.