Welcome to the Delaware Literary Connection

Promoting the Literary Arts in the Delaware

The Delaware Literary Connection

is proud to present  

“In the Voice of…” A Workshop and a Primer on Persona Poetry 

Workshop Leader: Charlie Bondhus

Saturday, May 24, 2014

9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington DE  19803 

Writers tend to receive two conflicting pieces of advice early in their careers. “Write what you know” is one. The other is “Get past your own story.” The most logical way to reconcile the two is to expand what you know, and then to use your newfound knowledge to write from a place of informed, creative empathy. “Persona poetry”—also known as “the dramatic monologue”—is the practice of writing poetry in the voice of someone other than yourself. This persona could be someone you know, a historical personage, an inanimate object, or a completely fictitious character. 


This session will begin with a standard poetry workshop in the morning, in which we will share and discuss work that has been giving us difficulties. After lunch, we will shift gears to persona poetry, beginning with a brief discussion of the form before moving through a series of three writing exercises to get us thinking and composing in someone else’s voice. We will end the day by writing brief reflections on how we might use what we learned about persona to re-see the piece that was workshopped in the morning. 


About Charlie Bondhus 


Charlie Bondhus’s second book of poetry, All the Heat We Could Carry, won Main Street Rag’s 2013 Poetry Book Award. Based on research and interviews, it is written in the voice of a gay veteran returning from Afghanistan. Other books include How the Boy Might See It (Pecan Grove Press, 2009) and What We Have Learned to Love (Brickhouse Books, 2009). His works appears in numerous journals, including Midwest Quarterly, Counterpunch, The Hawai’i Review, The Baltimore Review, Cold Mountain Review, and others.  

Charlie holds an MFA from Goddard College and a Ph.D. from UMASS Amherst. He teaches at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, and is the Poetry Editor at The Good Men Project (www.goodmenproject.com). Visit him at www.facebook.com/cbondhuspoetry.  Charlie was the featured reader at Second Saturday Poets in February, 2014.  His poetry and presentation were outstanding and much appreciated by the audience! 


Join us on Saturday, May 24th, for what promises to be a remarkable poetry workshop.  To register for this workshop, please email Barbara Gray at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  The workshop is free, but a $5 donation at the door for the Ronald McDonald House at the hospital would be much appreciated. 

This workshop is sponsored, in part, by

Mary Margaret Pauer and Barbara Elaine Gray in memory of their mothers.


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