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.
Students in this workshop will participate in various writing exercises that will encourage them to pare down the excess often accumulated in early drafts. Participants will discuss different strategies of avoiding redundancies and excess words along with reviewing drafts by notable poets.
In this workshop, participants will experiment with the line break and how using it in new ways, or not at all, can lead to poems they may not have come to write otherwise. Students will work toward new poems and also revisit earlier ones to question whether re-imagining them with shorter lines, or longer lines, or perhaps no line breaks at all, might lead to new cadences and questions, even entirely different, wilder poetry.
This workshop will focus on revision and how we can continue to push the poem along the path we want to explore by investigating diction, structure and other craft elements, while driving poems into uncharted terrain by investigating alternate and unexpected routes. So, we’ll look at strategies for revision, both “conventional” and radical. A willingness to move around in your poems and to be open to surprising suggestions is the main criterion for joining this workshop.
This class will take as given that listening is an inherent component of reading and writing poetry, that listening is a mode of performance (to read a poem to yourself is to perform that poem, however silently), and that listening is a skill, which means one’s ability to listen (and by extension attend to and develop a unique sense of prosody) can improve over time. Students will be encouraged to present and discuss their works-in-progress and generate new material. Sound patterning and structures of voice will be our guiding points of conversation.
As readers we sometimes assume the “I” in a poem is the same as the poet’s me. The lyric poet may promote this illusion of spontaneous utterance and unmediated feeling. But the poet who believes the speaker in a poem is “me” may also be suffering an illusion that will mire the poem in mediocrity. How then do we reconcile the seeming contradictory demands of sincerity and craft? And how might the self be most evident in poems that foreground pretense and masquerade?
PASSED FIRST CLASS DATE
Participants will employ strategies for effortlessly generating new poems and revising older work, always with the intent of surprising themselves. Drawing from both avant-garde and epiphanic practices, students will be encouraged to break free of their usual processes in order to write the poems they never knew they wanted to write.
This information-packed lecture by legendary Coffee House Press founder and publisher Allan Kornblum provides poets with practical guidance about preparing and submitting a poetry manuscript. Drawing on his years of experience working with contemporary poets, Kornblum offers valuable insights that any emerging poet needs to hear.