"The World Keeps Ending": Poetry of Apocalypse Winter 2024

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The Encarta Webster’s Dictionary defines apocalypse as both “the destruction or devastation of something” and “a revelation made concerning the future.” Increasingly, as humanity sinks deeper into crises of climate disaster, war, scarcity, inequality, and violence, poets are using themes of apocalypse and dystopia to make sense of our world — and to imagine the possibilities beyond our world’s end. In this workshop, we will explore what apocalypse means both personally and collectively, asking such questions as: What is worth saving? What is worth letting go? In what ways and for whom has the apocalypse already happened? How do we imagine the last day of the world — and the day after that? As Franny Choi tells us, “The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On.” We will take guidance from poets like Choi, sam sax, Saeed Jones, Joy Harjo, and others, crafting poems inspired by readings and prompts. As a group, we will define craft elements and potential workshop models, using both to inform our discussions of student work led by the writer. Weekly writing assignments will culminate in a final portfolio of poems. This is an anti-racist workshop which seeks to expand the literary canon, and in which we will collaborate to create a healthy and creative space for all voices. Above all, the goal will be to grow in confidence as a creative writer, pursuing your own definition of your best work.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 12
Expected: NA
Class#: 1160
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Creative project(s)
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Statement of interest
Unit Notes: Benjamin Grimes earned his MFA from Randolph College. He leads workshops in various communities across New England and his work can be found in {New Ohio Review} and {Sycamore Review}.
Materials/Lab Fee: $200
Attributes: SLFX Winter Study Self-Expression

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