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Kimiko Hahn

Japanese Forms to Tilt the Western Mind: For Poets and Poetry Lovers

Kimiko Hahn, photo by Beowulf Sheehan
Kimiko Hahn, photo by Beowulf Sheehan
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This workshop is for writers who are interested in trying unusual forms. A sense of one’s own voice and style is a good departure point for exploration.

Forms will include the haiku (conventional, not contemporary versions), senryu, tanka, haibun (a hybrid form), and the little-known genre zuihitsu. Each day we will open with a description and examples of the form for the day—some translated from the Japanese classics and others written by Westerners in English. Using the readings as prompts, you will be assigned work to be completed in and out of class. We will be generating new work during the week and sharing some in class.

The intention is that these forms will open up new possibilities for exploring your subjects and themes, as well as expanding your concept of form and structure. Although the workshop will unfold in a conventional manner, the forms will give you new ways to comment on drafts.

No advanced submissions or readings are required. For the first day, bring a “polished” poem (not based on Japanese influence) so we can hear your poetic voice. From then on, it’s all new.


  • This is an all-levels workshop.
  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your prior workshop experience, if any.
  • 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 11, 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 11 – 14).
  • 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.



Kimiko Hahn is the winner of the 2023 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Her work is noted for its intertextuality and wide-ranging subject matter.

She the author of ten books of poems, including Foreign BodiesBrain Fever; Toxic Flora (the previous two collections prompted by science); The Narrow Road to the Interior; The Unbearable Heart, which received an American Book Award; and Earshot, which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association for Asian American Studies book award.

Hahn has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection, Shelley Memorial Award, and a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

She has taught in graduate programs at the University of Houston and New York University, and she is a distinguished professor in the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College. She has also taught for literary organizations such as the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, and Kundiman. From 2016 to 2019, Hahn was president of the Board of Governors for the Poetry Society of America.