Poet L S Asekoff, co-recipient of the Library of Congress’s 15th annual Witter Bynner Fellowship in poetry, reads from his work followed by a conversation and Q & A with former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine (who selected Asekoff for the fellowship) moderated by Robert Casper, Head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. Introduction by Poets House's Stephen Motika (Full Audio, Approx 1 hour, 5 mins)
This class asks the simple question: what is the sonnet today? After centuries of relative stability, the sonnet in English has undergone a lot of changes since Modernism. It has registered almost every formal experiment from the advent of free verse onward: projective verse, collage, homophonic translation, n+7, appropriation, erasure, etc. It has likewise registered almost every philosophical and political development in the last century, from deconstruction to feminism.
In this workshop, we will move beyond straight-up reality in our poems and see what surprising turns and new meanings reveal themselves when we incorporate surreal elements and occurrences into our work. How do poets write their way into the fantastical? And what role does humor play in getting there? For inspiration, we’ll read excerpts from Alice Notley’s Descent of Alette, poems from Cesar Vallejo, Julio Cortazar, James Wright, Cathy Park Hong, Tomaz Salamun, Hiromi Ito, and many others.
Winner of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Space, in Chains and a finalist for the 2015 Kingsley Tufts Award for The Infintesimals, Laura Kasischke is the author of seven books of poetry and nine popular novels.