This one-day workshop will focus on writing effectively for general readers – which is to say, we will talk about how to approach readers who are as clever as you are, but who don’t know what you know. Our approach will be as practical as possible: We will look at reviews and essays that work, and think about what makes them successful, and we will look at pieces that don’t work, and discuss what went wrong. There will be amusing, no-pressure exercises and, significantly, free food. In the afternoon we’ll have a guest TBA; past guests include Dwight Garner and Parul Sehgal from The New York Times and Katy Waldman from The New Yorker.
David Orr is Professor of Poetry and the Practice of Criticism at Rutgers University and a longtime poetry critic for the New York Times Book Review, among other publications. His first book, Beautiful & Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry, was named one of the twenty best books of 2011 by the Chicago Tribune; his subsequent books have been covered in outlets ranging from The Wall Street Journal to NPR to PBS NewsHour. He is the winner of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle and the Editor’s Prize for Reviewing from Poetry magazine.