Not a class in mechanics, but a solid review (and more) of what makes poetry tick—from the technique to the heartbeat. We’ll look at meter, rhyme and sonic devices, examine some stanza forms (the sonnet, the villanelle, the pantoum), and discuss Carl Jung’s four functions, all the while learning how these disciplines can inform our use of free verse, the medium employed by most contemporary poets. We will write both in and out of class, exploring neighborhood settings to strengthen our powers of observation.
This class will focus on reading and writing the chapbook-length long poem, and the unique challenge posed by structuring a longer poem will be a focal point throughout our close readings and workshops. For the first four weeks we’ll look at select sequences and series, narratives and meditations, documentary poems and procedural works. Through close reading, discussion, writing assignments and exercises we’ll explore together some of the formal and thematic possibilities that arise when poets move into the amplitude only the longer poem offers.
Lynn Emanuel is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Her books of poetry include Noose and Hook (2010), Then, Suddenly— (1999), and The Dig (1992), which was a winner of the National Poetry Series. Her awards include two Pushcart Prizes and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
Heather McHugh is a poet, translator, and Milliman Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington. Her volumes of poetry include Upgraded to Serious, Eyeshot, and Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968-1993. Her translations of Euripides appear in Cyclops. Her awards include a MacArthur Foundation genius award, numerous Pushcart Prizes, and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.
An evening of recitation, music and film celebrating the early immigrant writers and their contemporary descendants. Poets featured include Kahlil Gibran, Elia Abu Madi, Ameen Rihani and Mikhail Naimy of the Pen League, the group of Arab New Yorkers writing in the first half of the last century, as well as poems by Arab Americans of today. A reception will follow the program.