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Shift Perspectives, Get Inspired in Online Poetry Class with Ina Cariño

Ina Cariño
WINSTON-SALEM, NC—As writers, we constantly experience transformation. When we revise our words on the page, we transform the world around us by rendering it as art.

Whether we’ve got a poem that could use some suggestions to move it toward its next transformative stage, or we need an inspirational jumpstart to connect to our transformational muse, a writing community can ground us in our present reality—and help us imagine a better one.

On Thursday, March 11, at 7:00 pm EST, poet Ina Cariño will lead the online poetry class “Words as Symbols, Words as Spells: How Poems Alchemize Our Realities.”

Registration is closed.

The cost for the class is $35 for NCWN members, $45 for non-members. Space is limited.

In his craft book The Art of Description: World into Word, acclaimed poet Mark Doty, who won the National Book Award in 2008, says that writing is akin to “trying to see inside [himself],” that “all perception [is]…an opportunity for interpretation.” Art is inherently a form of interpretation, one that seeks to find meaning in this world. And art and language have power over how we view our realities, how we create them.

In this course, we will write poems as “spells” that have the ability to reach for truth even in abstraction. By examining a few poems that “magic” realities into being, and by using prompts to flex the mind, we will each write through the lens of transformation. Again, to quote Doty: “…it is possible to feel, at least for a moment, language clicking into place, into a relation with the world that feels seamless and inevitable.”

Ina Cariño is a queer Filipinx poet who was born in the Philippines. Their poetry appears in Waxwing, New England Review, The Oxford Review of Books, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other journals. Ina holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University. They are a Kundiman fellow, and was a finalist for the 2019 Jake Adam York Prize. In December of 2019, Ina founded a reading series, Indigena Collective, centering othered and underrepresented creatives in the community, including but not limited to BIPOC, QTPOC, and people with disabilities. Find out more about Ina’s work at

“Words as Symbols, Words as Spells” is part of the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 2020-2021 series of online classes.

“The Network has offered online programming since 2016,” said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. “We’re proud to already have the educational framework in place that allows us to continue to serve the writers of North Carolina, and beyond, during this time of social distancing.”

The online class “Words as Symbols, Words as Spells” is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Thursday, March 11, will be sent to registrants no less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of class. The class will be archived and made available to registrants for repeated viewings.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit