Poetics of the Condensery: Elaine Equi & Aram Saroyan on Minimalist Poetry

Elaine Equi and Aram Saroyan reflect on their minimalist propensities and the work of influential practitioners of this spare aesthetic, including e.e. cummings, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Lorine Niedecker, Gertrude Stein, Louis Zukofsky and Joe Brainard.

Passwords: Dick Davis on Persian Poetry

Poet Dick Davis expands our understanding of the period that gave rise to such voices as Rumi and Omar Khayyam by exploring several poems from the canon of Medieval Persian literature, including the Sufi allegory The Conference of Birds.

Branching Out Hartford: Martín Espada on Pablo Neruda

At each stage of his tumultuous life, Neruda wrote poems as chronicles, explaining his poetry and politics. He also wrote poems about the mysterious power of poetry itself, a power fully embraced in Chilean culture. In his talk Martín Espada will focus on the evolution of Neruda as a political poet, his struggle and exile at the hands of his own government, his triumphant return, his death in the wake of the military coup, and his redemption after democracy returned to Chile.

Visitations: Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain at Wave Hill

Revisit the works of two formative Victorian voices and tour one of New York City's magnificent 19th century estates, Wave Hill, which once played host to the likes of Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria.

1:00-1:30pm: Thomas Devaney shares selections from Poe's penumbral verse and offers highlights from the popular "Empty House" tour at the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.

Poetry Intensive with Simon Armitage

Friday, October 5, 7:00pm-10:00pm
Saturday, October 6, 12:00noon-5:00pm

Leading British poet Simon Armitage offers you the chance to step outside of the American poetic paradigm, while asking some central questions that transcend all national boundaries: How do poems work? What do they hope to achieve? The workshop will include close readings of recent poetry from both sides of the pond and the opportunity to put these ideas into practice with focused writing exercises.

Branching Out Little Rock: Donna Masini on June Jordan

June Jordan dedicated her book, Passion, "to everybody scared as I used to be," writing, as she says of Whitman, for the sake of a people's poetry. Here is a look at the poetry and prose—spanning half a century—of a writer whose passionate, politically engaged poems and commitment to write out of her own "civil wars," makes her a poet someone once called "a lyric catalyst for change."

A joint initiative with the Poetry Society of America, Branching Out: Poetry for the 21st Century is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Passwords: Simon Armitage on Ted Hughes

A rare opportunity to hear one of the pivotal voices in contemporary British poetry as he explores the influence of childhood and landscape on the work of fellow Yorkshire poet Ted Hughes (1930-1998).

Funded by the New York Council for the Humanities

Branching Out Jacksonville: Carl Phillips on Walt Whitman

In his talk, Carl Phillips will explore the ways in which Whitman is among the first to stake out forbidden territory (race, masculinity, morality) for American poetry and to find a form that persuasively enacts the poem's content. He will also consider the ways in which Whitman's poems continue to have a contemporary resonance and to illustrate what it has meant and continues to mean, on so many levels, to be American, for better and for worse.

Poetry for Children: A, B, See: A Collage Workshop with Robert Warner

Robert Warner invites us to enter the inky wonderland of letterpress printing with a show-and-tell of typographical materials and a chance to make our own poetic collages.

Branching Out Milwaukee: Hettie Jones on Beat Poets

Who were the Beat Poets? Why are they "beat" and what does that mean? A look at their work, and the decades of the fifties and sixties in which they wrote, will explain why they remain iconic figures in American poetry. Their writing was shocking to some yet celebrated by others. Contemporary reaction to their poems was vociferous and divided. Today they continue to be notorious, though there is growing interest in their lively, noisy, exciting work. The Beat goes on!


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