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Poetics of Well-being - Elle Baden-Gregory - April 20 2024 - Youth Writing Workshop - Just Buffalo Literary Center

The Poetics of Well-Being: Writing “Happy” Poems with Elle Bader-Gregory

Despair is essential to creating poetry, right?

The archetype of the ‘tortured artist’ (think Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway) has long perpetuated the false narrative of unhappiness as a generative creative state and happiness as an unproductive state. In actuality, joy and contentment are just as necessary to creation as feelings of pain. In this workshop, we will examine what the author Louise Glück calls the “utility of happiness.”

This virtual workshop focuses on writing from a place of well-being. How do you define ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ poetry? Can ‘happy’ poems be serious? What place does sadness have in ‘happy’ poetry? How can happiness be an exciting additive force for freewriting? What does it mean to write from well-being? We will read and discuss some well-loved ‘happy’ poems, create and share prompts, and use the framework of happiness for freewriting, generating new ideas, and sharing our work.

  • Youth Writing Workshops at the JBWC are FREE and aimed at young students aged 12–18.
  • This workshop is virtual only—attend from home!
  • ACCESSIBILITY NOTE: If you have any questions/issues accessing any of these opportunities, please let us know and we will work with you to make sure you can participate.

*This workshop is free and open to youth ANYWHERE, ages 12-18. The event is being hosted in connection to New York State of Poetry, a state-wide week of poetry workshops and events, presented by NY State Poet Laureate Willie Perdomo and Teachers & Writers Collaborative.


Saturday, April 20, 2024


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Virtual via Zoom


Just Buffalo Literary Center
Just Buffalo Literary Center
(716) 832-5400

Featured Artist

  • Elle Bader-Gregory
    Elle Bader-Gregory

    Elle Bader-Gregory (she/her) is a student and writer from Buffalo, New York. Elle has a passion for poetry, short stories, and science fiction. Her work has been featured in Variety Pack. Elle is an alum of the Just Buffalo Writing Center. She is currently studying English, Creative Writing, and Psychology at Kenyon College.

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