OpenSUNY Textbooks

Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations

  • Coming Soon

  • Affiliation: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry



Part handbook, part anthology, Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for the New Generation assembles a wide range of poetry from contemporary poets, along with history, advice, and guidance on the craft of poetry. The volume also includes exercises inspired by the included poetry and resources for students seeking to publish and build a writing-centered lifestyle or career. Poets featured range in age, subject, and style, and include those in the early stages of their careers, many connected to colleges in the State University of New York system. Informed by a consideration to the psychology of invention, Michelle Bonczek Evory’s writing philosophy emphasizes both spontaneity and discipline, teaching students how to capture the chaos in our memories, imagination, and bodies with language, and discovering ways to mold them into their own cosmos, sculpt them like clay on a page. Exercises aim to make writing a form of play in its early stages that gives way to more enriching insights through revision, embracing the writing of poetry as both a love of language and a tool that enables us to explore ourselves and understand the world. Naming the Unnameable promotes an understanding of poetry as a living art and provides ways for students to involve themselves in the growing contemporary poetry community that thrives in America today.


Michelle Bonczek Evory

Michelle Bonczek Evory is the author of The Art of the Nipple (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2013) and a mentor at The Poet’s Billow ( Her poetry is featured in the Best New Poets 2013 anthology and has been published in over seventy journals and magazines, including Crazyhorse, cream city review, Green Mountains Review, New Millennium Writings, Orion Magazine, and The Progressive. She holds a PhD from Western Michigan University, an MFA from Eastern Washington University, an MA from SUNY Brockport, and is currently a Visiting Professor at The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.