Katherine McCord

Class Title: Found Poetry
Instructor: Katherine McCord
Class Term: October 7-November 18, 2019
We are not accepting any more enrollments for Katherine's class; the class has started.


We will explore Found Poetry. No matter what genre you normally pursue, Found Poetry can give you new insights into your preferred genre, or it can become a focus in your life so that if you want you can publish it in all kinds of venues. In Found Poetry you take pieces of prose and/or poetry from other works and make them new.

Class Description

During the course, students will create all kinds of Found Poems, such as Erasure and Blackout. Students will send their work by group emails for responses. To parallel the creation of Found Poetry, we will also explore the craft elements, Concreteness, Tone, Lineation and Dramatic Shape.

Class Goals

Create various kinds of Found Poems and begin to understand and apply the craft elements of Concreteness, Tone, Lineation and Dramatic Shape.


  • Week One: Concreteness; Erasure Found Poem
    Concreteness entails the “show don’t tell” aspect of your piece. This week we’ll discuss Concreteness as a craft element and the possibilities of “weighting” your piece through imagery and abstraction.
  • Week Two: Tone; Blackout Found Poem
    Tone is either the attitude of the speaker throughout the poem or the mood of the piece if a speaker isn’t felt. This week we will discuss Tone as a craft element and the way you can express it through figurative language.
  • Week Three: Lineation; Cento Found Poem
    Lineation entails how the lines in a poem work. Lineation can be decided by endstops, breath, enjambment and/or the landscape of the line, for example. This week we will discuss Lineation as a craft element.
  • Week Four: Dramatic Shape; Cut-up Found Poem
    Dramatic Shape, one aspect, takes up a “kind” of poem, such as, within Free Verse, the lyric poem, which, for example, can emphasize a concentrated expression. This week we will discuss this aspect of Dramatic Shape as a craft element.
  • Week Five: Dramatic Shape II; Revision
    Dramatic Shape, one aspect, takes up another kind of Free Verse, the narrative poem, which, for example, tells a story. This week we will discuss the narrative poem as a craft element.
  • Week Six: Dramatic Shape III; Free Form Found Poem
    Dramatic Shape, one aspect, takes up traditional Form, for example, the sonnet. This week we will discuss Form as a craft element.

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

I will use group emails for sending out craft lectures and assignments. The students will use group emails that will include me for sending out their work for responses, to ask questions, to make comments, and to respond to their peers' work, as will I. All materials to create Found poems are from everyday life--magazines, signs, books, overheard conversations, lists, etc.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $192. Non-SCN members: $240.

Instructor Bio

Katherine McCord has an MA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative writing. She has two books of poetry--Island and Living Room (prose poems)--a lyric essay memoir, My CIA; a poetry chapbook, Muse Annie; and a literary memoir, Run Scream Unbury Save. All were published by selective presses, Run Scream Unbury Save having won the Autumn House Creative Writing Competition in Creative Nonfiction and My CIA having won a Hoffer Legacy Award. She has been teaching Creative Writing at all levels, including college, online and in the traditional classroom, noncredit and for credit, for a wonderfully long time. Visit her website.

Praise for Katherine's Classes

  • Interesting comments - very insightful - and Katherine McCord's response time was extraordinaire. —Joan C., Coeur d'Alene ID

  • A really different form of poetry. Exciting and challenging. Pushes you to think outside the box. —Kathryn S., Cary NC

  • Found poetry was relatively new to me before the course. I enjoyed the many possibilities, both literal and visual it offered. The option to utilize varied artistic skills made this class unique. Thanks. —Ariela Z., Ellsworth ME

  • The most helpful and invigorating instruction I've ever received. —Letishia W., Norman OK