In my workshop, I privilege reading in the context of the writer, and in the first four or five weeks, we don’t critique at all. We just say what we see. “I see trees repeating. I see line breaks in the tercets. I think this poem is trying to…” We start to collaborate and build this structure of recognition for ourselves, so that, when the critiques do come, they’re always in service of the idiosyncratic person. There are no rules that could just be forced upon the work.
Ocean Vuong on workshop