Professor to present virtual workshop on poetry, pandemic

Ruefman’s free, four-part event begins Monday, April 20
​Jerry Poling | April 20, 2020

Writing poetry can be a way for people to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and chronicle the time historically, according to a University of Wisconsin-Stout professor.

Daniel RuefmanDaniel Ruefman, an associate professor in the English and philosophy department, will present a free, four-part virtual workshop, Chronicling Covid: Purpose and Poetry, through the River Falls Public Library beginning Monday, April 20. The sessions are from 3 to 4 p.m. April 20; Thursday, April 23; Monday, April 27; and Thursday, April 30.

To participate, join here with GoToMeeting via computer, tablet or smartphone or dial in at 312-757-3121, access code 989-319-565. Get the GoToMeeting app here.

“We often forget that poetry remains the most enduring form of storytelling, and the truths that poetry explore form a complex historical record of the times in which they were written,” Ruefman said.

April is National Poetry Month. The event originally was scheduled at the library.

“During this workshop, you will bear witness to the ongoing COVID-19 quarantine. By examining your truths — of humor, of anxiety, of lament and loss — you will be encouraged to create poems that will help you process your experience, while creating something that will contribute to the historical record of our time,” he said.

Poetry Workshop signParticipants do not need to commit to all sessions. Each session will have a different focus, Ruefman said. They are:

  • April 20 – Mining for Ideas: The Confluence of Memory, New Experience and a Question
  • April 23 – Imagery and Voice: Transcending Your Experience
  • April 27 – Playing with Form: Rhyme, Rhythm, Repetition, Sound
  • April 30 – Plotting Poems: Poetry as a medium for Story Telling

Ruefman’s poetry and prose have appeared in many periodicals, including Adelaide, Barely South Review, Burningword, Clapboard House, Dialogist, Gravel Magazine, Red Earth Review, Sheepshead Review and Temenos.

He is the author of two collections of poetry, “Breathe Automatic” (2014) and “Sleep Bringer” (2019).

For more information about the workshop, email River Falls Public Library Event Coordinator Cole Zrostlik,

For the latest information about UW-Stout and the COVID-19 situation, go here.



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