For many people, childhood is the time we are most saturated with poetry, and young adulthood is when we are first compelled to write it. Matthea Harvey and Marilyn Nelson, leading poets and writers for children and young adults respectively, discuss how their poetic practices include and are influenced by their writing for young people.
Award-winning poet J.D. McClatchy discusses the relationship between his poetic practice and his work as a librettist. Followed by a reading of The Leopard, McClatchy’s libretto for a new opera based on the internationally acclaimed novel from 1958 by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. McClatchy is joined by the opera’s composer Michael Dellaira for a post-reading talk.
“One of the most influential poetry critics of his generation,” according to The New York Times, Harvard professor Stephen Burt has published three collections of poetry in addition to his many critical works. In this program, he’ll discuss "the paradoxical, conflicting role of the poet-critic or how to read your own work as if you didn't write it" – a useful skill for poets and writers of all kinds.
Can poetry function as closet drama, occurring offstage? At turns text, event, and chorus? In this three-day seminar and workshop, we'll move in successive forms -- from a close-read of Ingeborg Bachmann’s radio drama, “The Good God of Manhattan” (1958) alongside selections from her poetry, into the film and performance scripts of Kathy Acker, and finally to notes on her own work by Marguerite Duras, whose devotion to sound and disrupted linearity is basically a staging of poetic thinking.
In this interactive program, Britain-based poetry critic Daniel Swift, editor of The Heart is Strange: New Selected Poems as well as forthcoming centennial editions of Berryman’s work, will discuss the relationship between the biography of the Pulitzer Prizewinning writer of The Dream Songs and the ways in which the life of this confessional poet might influence – or confuse – critical understandings of his works.
The author of Faces in the Crowd and Sidewalks, novelist and essayist Valeria Luiselli uses the city to exercise a roving intelligence, seeking out the questions imbedded in our human landscape. She'll discuss her month-long residency in the Poets House archives and the influence of poetry, architecture and archives on her work. She'll be joined by Coffee House Press's Jay Peterson.
Poet, essayist, diplomat, and Nobelist Octavio Paz (1914-1998) believed that “to acknowledge the variety of visions and sensibilities is to preserve the richness of life” and ushered in a new era for Mexican literature and modern poetry. A gathering of Mexican and American poets read from his work, which spans 60 years of writing.
Our earliest writers combined forms naturally: Herodotus wrote stories about what he saw or heard and called it history; Sappho wrote songs we call poetry. In this talk, Eleni Sikelianos, poet and memoirist, whose newest book is the mixed-genre You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek), discusses how she and other writers are reviving the flow of genetic material between forms to reflect our complicated minds and lives.