Preludes: The Long Poem with Paolo Javier

This class will introduce a variety of strategies of composing long poems. Participants will survey innovative approaches, ranging from the diaristic (Lyn Hejinian) to the biofictional (Fred Wah); the cataloguist (Lisa Robertson) to the pyschogeographic (WC Williams, Frances Chung); the durational (Bernadette Mayer, Gertrude Stein) to the spectral (James Merill, Alice Notley); the personist (Frank O'Hara, Vincent Katz) to the anti-imperialist (Aime Cesaire, Barbara Jane Reyes); and the text-sound textualist (Khlebnikov, John Cage) to the text-imagiste (bp Nichol, Jill Magi).

Poets Respond: Poetry as Political Dialogue with Camille Rankine

What is political activism anyway? It’s something both prepared for and spontaneous – like making poetry.” – Adrienne Rich

The Art of Truth Telling: Discernment, Authenticity, and Risk with Eugenia Leigh

James Baldwin said, “The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see,” and Emily Dickinson wrote, “The Truth must dazzle gradually.” Participants in this workshop will develop the art of seeing and practice the craft of dazzling gradually while examining the nuances between fact and truth. The goal will be to transform poems that simply report or observe into poems that take emotional and creative risks to illuminate truths with authenticity and artistry.

The Whole Poem: Unlocking the Full Potential of a Poem's Content and Form with Neil Shepard

From first draft to final draft, strategies are required for seeing the whole poem, both its full potential for content and its most satisfying form. Required, as Charles Olson said, is the intense perception of the first draft – to “see” not only the spark but all of the light that makes a poem glow. Then we need to “re-see” the poem, practicing the kind of deep revision that leads us to reconsider everything from word choice and vivid image to metaphoric subtext, grammatical pattern, and inner music of the poem.

An Equal Music: Writing Poems from a Musical Influence with Jay Deshpande

Poets are frequently influenced by a favorite musician or song. Sometimes it’s Bob Dylan’s lyrics, the aesthetics of the blues, or the emotional sweep of Mahler that we want to carry to the page. But how do we make use of the music we love if we don’t write about it and we don’t try to mimic it? In effect, the music-inspired poem is the most challenging form of ekphrasis, because the author must be extra vigilant to form her own language rather than to mimic that of the song.

Experimenting with Lyric Poetry with Megan Fernandes

What does it mean to experiment? To play? To leap into uncertainty? To subvert a sense of form, structure, tone? In what ways can writers experiment with alternative modes of desire, grief, humiliation, or wonder? To experiment is a human and artistic instinct, a curiosity to play in the space of some unknown.

Visions and Visionary Poetics with Julian Talamantez Brolaski

This class will explore the practice of visionary writing. ‘Vision’ is easily subject to metaphorization— ‘I see’ for ‘I understand,’ ‘vision’ for aspiration or future goal—but here the class will explore the concept quite literally. Participants will read the works of prophet-seers: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, William Blake, Black Elk, Hannah Weiner, and others, writers who have had dream visions, spiritual visions, drug-induced or psychotic visions.

Finding the Art in the Line with Elaine Sexton

Poems are structures: the way words appear on the page—the use of white space, typography, order, disorder. We step into a poem as we would a new building we admire: curious, but from the outside. That the origin of the word stanza is from the Italian for room makes sense. What draws us into the delicate, vivid, and sometimes disturbing rooms of a memorable poem? Each week we search for the answers, finding them in the scaffolding of the poem, identifying the visual and sonic devices that contribute to its space including the use of erasures and other forms of ellipsis.

Master Class with Nick Flynn

Saturday June 3, 2:00-6:00pm
Sunday June 4, 12:00-4:00pm

Nick Flynn is the author of four books of poetry, My Feelings, The Captain Asks For a Show of Hands, Some Ether, which won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, and Blind Huber. His memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City was made into a film, Being Flynn, starring Robert DeNiro as Flynn’s father, Julianne Moore, and Paul Dano.

Application Deadline: Monday, May 15, 2017

Master Class with Catherine Barnett

Saturday May 13, 2:00-6:00pm
Sunday May 14, 12:00-4:00pm

Catherine Barnett is the author of Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced, winner of the 2003 Beatrice Hawley Award. Her most recent collection, The Game of Boxes, received the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her other honors include a Whiting Writer’s Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches at New York University.

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