The InternationalWomen's Writing Guild
Free Write with Kai Coggin
Writing the Open Letter Poem:
A Generative Workshop
What is an open letter?
An open letter is a letter, often critical, addressed to a particular person or group of people but intended to be widely distributed to a wider audience. The letter does not usually get a reply, but it is written to shed light on a subject, an individual, or a group as a form of protest or grievance. It can also be used for praising and honoring something or someone.
IWWG Free Write attendees will read a selection of poetry with examples of the Open Letter. We will discuss various aspects of form, craft, and attention to figurative language used by the different poets in the packet, and finish with time to write an Open Letter poem from a selection of prompts provided by Kai. There will be time for sharing at the end.
Kai Coggin is the author of four poetry collections, most recently MINING FOR STARDUST (FlowerSong Press 2021) and INCANDESCENT (Sibling Rivalry Press 2019). She is a queer woman of color who thinks Black Lives Matter, a teaching artist in poetry with the Arkansas Arts Council, and the host of the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country—Wednesday Night Poetry. Recently awarded the 2021 Governor’s Arts Award and named “Best Poet in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times, her fierce and powerful poetry has been nominated four times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, Cultural Weekly, SOLSTICE,Bellevue Literary Review, Entropy, SWWIM, Sinister Wisdom, Lavender Review, Luna Luna, Blue Heron Review, Tupelo Press, West Trestle Review, and elsewhere. Coggin is Associate Editor at The Rise Up Review. She lives with her wife and their two adorable dogs in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas