Program Details

How to Read a Poem: Falling in Love with Poetry

Becka McKay
Arts & Letters

Course Description

This lecture will be a broad (but brief) overview of contemporary poetry and provide a rich and in-depth look at several individual poems. McKay will discuss elements and conventions of poetry, including metaphor, imagery, symbolism, and line breaks. Using the familiar analogies of poetry as a house we explore, a spectrum we find ourselves on, and a dance we partner in. She will provide handouts and use PowerPoint slides to walk the participants through a range of poetic forms and styles and end by giving them some valuable tips on how to write poems of their own.

About the Instructor

  • Becka Mara McKay, Ph.D., is a poet and a translator of contemporary Israeli literature. She directs the master's degree program in creative writing at FAU and serves as faculty advisor to "Swamp Ape Review." She earned her master's degree in creative writing (poetry) from the University of Washington and a master's degree in literary translation from the University of Iowa, where she also earned her doctoral degree in comparative literature. Her first book of poems, "A Meteorologist in the Promised Land," was published by Shearsman Books in 2010. Her latest collection of poems is "The Little Book of No Consolation." She has published three translations of fiction and a selection of poetry from Modern Hebrew.

    Lifelong Learning Professorship of Arts and Letters, 2020-2021