Writers' Workshop Program: January 5-9, 2025

Ange Mlinko

Writing Poetry Alongside The Iliad

Ange Mlinko, photo by Jimmy Ho
Ange Mlinko, photo by Jimmy Ho
  • January 5-9, 2025
  • ADVANCED, $675
See all 2025 Workshops


In this workshop, students will consider a scene from The Iliad alongside an interpretation by a modern poet and, by a process of parallax, compose a new poem grounded in that deathless epic. We will consider questions of form, lexicon, and personality versus impersonality in a setting richly atmospheric of the sea-driven Homernear what used to be a crucial naval base that inspired Elizabeth Bishop’s “Roosters” and where Frank O’Hara went for sonar training.

This class will be a mixture of generative and critique. Students will use the texts and the environment to generate new work, but also look at formal choices and how well they dovetail with the material. The general rule will follow Nietzsche’s axiom: “One is an artist by virtue of experiencing what non-artists call ‘form’ as content.” That is, is the form merely ornamental or does it add a meaningful dimension to the work?

Students are encouraged to read The Iliad beforehand or be familiar with the basic narrative and structure of the work. (Emily Wilson’s translation is highly recommended.) In class, excerpts of Homer and samples of contemporary work that use The Iliad as a springboard will be provided.

In addition, we will workshop your own poems. The instructor will offer written feedback, but doesn’t require students to do so. For students interested in meeting with her, Mlinko is available to schedule half hour discussions after class.


  • This is an advanced-level workshop.
  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your prior workshop experience, if any. Also submit a writing sample of up to ten double-spaced pages. (Please prepare your submission as a .pdf or .doc file.)
  • The cost is $675. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $300 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • If you are accepted, you have the option of attending the Keynote on Thursday, January 9, at a reduced price of $150 (we will send you a link upon confirmation). Alternately, you may purchase a ticket to attend the Seminar in full, as it runs after the workshops (January 9 – 12).
  • Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and/or to apply for a Workshop Fellowship Award. (Do not submit a regular application if you are requesting financial aid.)
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.



Ange Mlinko is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Venice, Distant Mandate, Marvelous Things Overheard, and Shoulder Season. Her study on modern poets in Florida, Difficult Ornaments: Florida and the Poets, will be released in October. She is former poetry editor of the Nation, and her work has appeared in Poetry, the New Yorker, Paris Review, London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, and many others.

Mlinko has won the Randall Jarrell Award in Criticism, the Frederick Bock Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches creative writing at the University of Florida, where she is the poetry editor of the literary journal Subtropics.