I read a brief review of Lucie Brock-Broido's Master Letters in which the reviewer comments that Broido is "not a workshop poet." I've heard professors make similar comments about other people's work, e.g. so-and-so's work isn't appropriate for workshops. What exactly does it mean for someone (not) to be a workshop poet? What does it mean for poetic work (not) to be appropriate for a workshop?

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    Well, if I had to guess, I would take it to mean that it does not obviously support the simplistic point or technique the workshop is trying to promote, or possibly that it does not support the political point of view that the workshop leader is trying to promote. Reality has this unfortunate habit of disproving the pet theories of workshop leaders. Best to avoid it at all costs.
    – user16226
    Nov 27 '17 at 0:09
  • Wow Mark, you've got a lot of assumptions in that comment. Workshops are about "simplistic points" and supporting political points the workshop leader is trying to promote. Could you be more specific and/or give examples? Nov 28 '17 at 19:25
  • For the OP -- were the professors referring to students or established poets not being appropriate for workshops? Were these creative writing professors or literature professors? That context might help get you responses that are on point with your intent. Nov 28 '17 at 19:26

A "workshop poet" is part of a particular artistic community (sometimes called a "workshop") whose members, through their shared aesthetic and the creation in a context of continuous mutual feedback, all write about similar topics and in the same style or "tone".

There was an article by David Dooley in The Hudson Review (Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 259-280) about "The Contemporary Workshop Aesthetic", in which the concept is expounded.

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