A quick note here to any of you who are planning to take the poetry workshop in the fall. After much thought I have decided to request that each of you choose a poetics essay, along with a few poems/texts, by an author who for some reason or another has been/is important to your own writing. Please send it to me with a brief paragraph as to why you chose it, so I can include it in the Reader I'm compiling for the fall. (See course description below.)
The trick here is that I need to get these (either hard copies or Word documents sent as attachment) as soon as possible, but no later than the end of May. I hope to be out of the country and doing some of my own writing after that, and need to get the Reader to the LIU printing center by then.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and if you could, please pass the word. Of course, you can choose anyone you want, and she/he needn't be American, or anything else. The key is here what really matters to you and your own work. I'll be including other authors & texts as well, but want at least one from each of you, so that the reader represents texts that interest you in relationship to your own writing.
Good luck finishing up for the semester.
Graduate Poetry Workshop
A Poetics Of Voice & Time-
A Contemplative Practice Toward the Book
What if as poets we were allowed to do whatever we wanted? What would we do? How long would our own experience & voice sustain us in writing? Every innovation in poetry has grown out of tradition, and in this course we will attempt to discover and connect with our own tradition(s) and poetic. Wallace Stevens wrote that all poetry is experimental. So what is the relationship between tradition, innovation, and a writer's unique poetic? In the book you are writing,what underlies the voice, time, being and place of the poetic?If our own voices grow out of the past and from traditions firmly rooted in the power of language and contemplation, our goal is to discover-to see what's out there, both as writers and readers-as we examine the literary traditions and lineages from which we have grown. We'll do this by writing our own poems and by exploring various forms and schools of poetry and by paying close attention to the way that poetry changes through us and through time, how ourown books change us. We'll also discuss the act of writing poetry as one of risk-taking and investigation, of destroying and reinventing traditions in our own discoveries, of seeing how nothing ever changes unless we explore and try to let our poems become truly our own, and something new in this act. We'll discuss, at length, what experiment means in relation to tradition and poetic.Among the poets we'll look at closely are Whitman, H.D., Williams, Pound, Stein, Bishop, Hughes, Cullen, Breton, Mandelstam, Cane, Spicer, Levertov, Brooks, Mayakovsky, Mallarme, Khlebnikov,Creeley, Lorca, Baraka, Whalen, O'Hara, Zukofsky, Oppen, Ginsberg, Mayer, Berrigan, Howe, Palmer, Hejinian, and Jabes.
A final portfolio, or chapbook, consisting of all our written poems, as well as a 'manifesto' of your own emerging poetic, is due at theend of the semester. We will also schedule a party and reading of ourwork at the LIU Reading Series in The Skylight Room.