What if, instead of the famous question, Shakespeare began “Sonnet 18" with the statement, “I shall compare thee to a summer’s day”? Do some of Yeats’ questions seem contrived? What’s the unstated question in Blake’s oft-quoted tiger poem? What in the world was C. D. Wright up to with her poem that contains 36 questions ending with “would you describe yourself as a doll named Memphis?” Questions can ratchet-up a poem’s passion, provide background information, inject humor, or lead the reader toward deeper questions. In this workshop we will look at several poems from a variety of authors/styles containing questions to see how the questions serve the poems. We will ask why some rhetorical questions are effective, while others fall flat. Crucially, we will examine how questions in poems involve the reader emotionally or intellectually. Along the way, we will do some fun exercises designed to help develop flexibility with questions in poems. DONALD LEVERING was born in Kansas City and grew up there and in Oceanside, New York. In addition to being awarded a NEA Fellowship, Levering won the Quest for Peace Prize in rhetoric and was featured in the Academy of American Poets Forum, the Ad Astra Poetry Project, and the Duende Reading Series. Among his recent honors are the 2014 Literal Latté Award, 1st Runner-Up for the Mark Fischer Prize in 2015, and Runner-Up for the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize in 2016. His 6th full-length book, “The Water Leveling with Us” from Red Mountain Press, placed 2nd in the 2015 National Federation of Press, Women Creative Verse Book Competition. His latest book, “Coltrane’s God,” was released in 2015 to critical acclaim: “Coltrane’s God” is a hip, historical collection of “flatted thirds and sevenths,” full of those characteristic, jazzy blue notes, poems sung as if through saxophone and smoke. Levering has an ear and eye for jazz, and what he writes here is part history, part song, following a lineage of jazz poets, including Hughes, Kerouac, Baraka, Carruth, Harper, and Mackey. — Kevin Rabas, author of “Bird’s Horn.” Levering has volunteered with Earthwatch as a species preservation activist for leatherback turtles in Costa Rica, queen conchs in Belize, and with Enkosini for great white sharks in South Africa. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.