Logo for: North Carolina Writer's Network

“Words as Symbols, Words as Spells: How Poems Alchemize Our Realities” (Poetry)

Presented by Ina Cariño

Ina Cariño

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 Filipinx American poet with an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University. Their poetry appears in Wildness, Waxwing, New England Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. Ina is a Kundiman fellow, a Best of the Net finalist, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a recipient of a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. They are the winner of the 2021 Alice James Award for their manuscript Feast, forthcoming from Alice James Books in March 2023.

Watch the Video

You must be a member to view the video of this event.

Join Now Log In