How Writers Write Poetry I MOOC-Pack


This MOOC-Pack provides the core content of our past MOOC How Writers Write Poetry I. You can use this MOOC-Pack on your own, or you can use it to lead a writing class or a study group.

Start by clicking on Class 1 in the Poetry I MOOC-Pack Page Menu at the left. You will find directions for the class one video, audio file, transcript, and assignment.

If you have any trouble navigating this MOOC-Pack, visit our HOW TO USE page for instructions on using this website. If you need to contact us with any questions or concerns, please visit the CONTACT | HELP | FEEDBACK page.

This MOOC-Pack offers a progressive study of the craft of writing poetry, and features talks on craft by two dozen acclaimed authors of poetry. This MOOC-Pack has twelve classes. You can begin with class one and continue in order through class twelve.



Mary Hickman is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she received an Iowa Arts Fellowship. Her poems have been published in Boston Review, Colorado Review, jubilat, and elsewhere. Her first book, This Is the Homeland, was published by Ahsahta Press in 2015. She’s at work on an artist’s book and co-edits Black Rainbow Editions in Nebraska.


Christopher Merrill's work has been translated into twenty-five language, his journalism appears in many publications, and his awards include a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government. He has held the William H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at the College of the Holy Cross, and now directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He serves on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and has undertaken cultural diplomacy missions to more than forty countries for the United States Department of State. In April 2012 President Obama appointed Merrill to the National Council on the Humanities. He has published six collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water, and Watch Fire, for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; translations of Ales Debeljak's Anxious Moments and The City and the Child; several edited volumes, among them, Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature and From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O'Keefe as Icon; and five books of nonfiction, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War.

Featured Authors


Susannah Shive, IWP Distance Learning & Instructional Administrator
Lauren Haldeman, Writing University Open Courses Web Administrator
Micah Bateman, IWP Graduate Research Assistant for MOOCs