On April 24, 1916, Irish poets, actors, teachers, and citizens armed themselves and took control of key locations throughout Dublin, then under British rule. This rebellion, known as the Easter Rising, set in motion a war for independence, a civil war, the partition of Ireland, and, ultimately, the creation of the Irish Free State. It also reinforced the connection between poetry, politics, and possibility still present in Ireland today.
How do poets and other artists begin to articulate loss, outrage and grief on a grand scale, distilling universal connections that transcend customs and belief systems? This class is an overview of poetry that responds to public tragedy: we will discuss approaches, ethical considerations and craft choices poets make when responding to various kinds of events (acts of war, gun violence, police brutality, natural disaster, etc.) through art.
Since at least the mid-1990s, "queer" has emerged as a socio-political and theoretical framework set in opposition to the normative, "stable" or strictly binary. In 2016, then, what might it mean to write a poetics queerly, to insist upon a queer reading of a text or, indeed, to queer a form? In this workshop, these questions and more will be rigorously explored. We'll sharpen our critical skills through very close readings of a selection of published poems and essays, as well as the work of workshop participants.
“Theory is not inherently healing, liberatory, or revolutionary. It fulfills this function only when we ask that it do so and direct our theorizing to this end….the possession of a term does not bring a process or practice into being.” – bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress
Joseph Stanton, a widely published poet who happens also to be an art historian, offers a workshop that will go beyond ekphrasis to encourage the writing of poems in response to any and all forms of artistic experience. Participants will be provided approaches to use when writing poems in response to witnessings and/or participations in such forms as paintings, movies, fairy tales, plays, and sports events. Poetry as a means of inquiry will be the emphasis throughout.
This workshop begins with a forty-five minute work session where we will make small cardboard looms, take bits of thread and fabric, and make page-sized weavings. No textile arts experience is necessary. Without theorizing, we'll then move right into a writing session where we will transfer this sense of play and "in-expertise" to the blank page. Of course the connection between "to write" and "to weave" is present in the word "text," so we will be building on that ancient association.
In this class we will practice engaging with architecture and social spaces that comprise our idea of home through a series of interrelated exercises. We will focus on various concepts of residence—and what kind of living takes place in them. While one definition of home includes space for the body, another definition might indicate space for the mind. How we reveal our intimate understanding of place is always a risk, because in showing others the shape of where we feel most welcome, we are also inviting them in.
When John Keats said "If poetry comes not as easily as leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all," he wasn't suggesting that poems should come quickly: after all, that is not how leaves come to a tree. Still, for any of us who have ever tried to start a poem and found it difficult or maddening for one reason or another, it's a rather intimidating statement. But what if we could take Keats's aphorism and challenge it on our own terms? In this intensive one-day class, we will do just that.
Saturday, May 28, 2:00-6:00pm
Sunday, May 29, Noon-4:00pm
Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program, and the 24Pearl Street online program for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.
To celebrate National Poetry Month, hear from poets who translate each other's work. Flávia Rocha and Idra Novey will read in Portuguese and English; and Melcion Mateu and Mary Ann Newman will read in Catalan and English. Both pairs will discuss their creative process and the responsibilities of collaboration and translation.