In this workshop, students will explore both secular and sacred work informed by states of consciousness and rigors of form. Readings from Celan, Césaire, Cohen, Conrad, Donne, Plath, Rankine, Rimbaud and others, plus hymns, sutras, curses, and magic spells from Ancient Greece, contemporary Salem, Haiti, and Appalachia will inform the creative process. Our goal is to write poems with the torque and power of real magical acts.
This workshop will focus on incorporating autobiographical material into poetry with an emphasis on each participant’s writing. Students will read from a wide selection of poems and generate poems from notebooks, in-class writing, photographs and various other starting points that help evoke memories and spark the imagination.
A reading of Gertrude Stein’s poetic work follows the Stanzas in Meditation Panel, with panelists Logan Esdale, Susannah Hollister, Liesl Olson and Emily Setina, Stein archives curator Nancy Kuhl, and poets Paolo Javier, Rachel Levitsky, Ariana Reines, Joan Retallack, Christopher Schmidt, Laura
Coleman Barks reads from and discusses his translation of Rumi’s poem “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, // there is a field. I'll meet you there” and discusses the power of 13th and 14th century mystical Sufi poetry.