Powers of the Strange & Particular (Poetry Workshop)
How can reading or writing a poem be an act of resuscitation? An awakening of one’s “sight,” one’s mind and questions? How do writers cultivate encounter, observation, and imagination to tip and trouble language into experience? In this course we will explore texts that inspire wonder and exemplify the powers of imaginative practice(s). Studying work that is original, strange, wondering, we will consider the gifts of mystery and strangeness in poems (and here I am hearing Paul Celan in “The Meridian” translated by Pierre Joris: “The poem estranges. It estranges by its existence, by the mode of its existence, it stands opposite and against one, voiceful and voiceless simultaneously, as language, as language setting itself free¿”). Together we will work to understand some of the ways that the texts are working while also engaging in studies that awaken our own idiosyncratic ways of saying and seeing. As a way of learning with assigned materials, participants will be expected to write poems in response to experiments, present on assigned craft topics, and provide peers with thoughtfully considered feedback/observations of their work. The course will be reading and writing intensive. It will also be a kind of laboratory for trying and making.
The Class: Type: studio/workshop
Requirements/Evaluation: students are expected to write a poem a week, participate in workshop/class discussions, and, over the course of the semester, give three short presentations
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Enrollment Preference: if over-enrolled, preference will be given to students who have not yet taken a poetry workshop
Distributions: Division I;