Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here assembles artists’ responses to the tragic March 5, 2007 bombing that resulted in the destruction of Al-Mutanabbi Street, a cultural and intellectual hub in Baghdad. This major traveling exhibition features approximately 250 artists’ books and 50 broadside (prints) by artists from around the world and was co-organized by Beau Beausoleil, founder of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition, and scholar Sarah Bodman.
A discussion on the current state of Russian literature at home and abroad with poet and editor-in-chief of OGI publishing house Maxim Amelin, author and literary scholar Aleksey Varlamov, and Overlook Press editor Mark Krotov. Moderated by acclaimed literary translator Antonina W. Bouis.
Mahogany Browne, Taylor Mali, James Merenda and Jeanann Verlee, representatives from three of New York City’s most prominent poetry slam series, discuss and demonstrate the poetry slam and what makes a poem not just “come alive” in performance but score well with judges.
San Francisco poet Aaron Shurin considers the question “What is prosody?” in light of the current movement away from meter and traditional forms, exploring some of the ways in which poetic craft continues to make meaning in contemporary poetry. (Full Audio, approx. 1 hr)
Renowned scholar and critic Marjorie Perloff discusses American composer and music theorist John Cage (1912-1992), exploring his poetic texts, and looking at his role as a central precursor of Conceptualist poetics. (Full Audio, approx. 1 hour)
Not a class in mechanics, but a solid review (and more) of what makes poetry tick—from the technique to the heartbeat. Participants will 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 the use of free verse, the medium employed by most contemporary poets. Students will write both in and out of class, exploring neighborhood settings to strengthen their 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 participants will look at select sequences and series, narratives and meditations, documentary poems and procedural works. Through close reading, discussion, writing assignments and exercises they will then explore together some of the formal and thematic possibilities that arise when poets move into the amplitude only the longer poem offers.