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Date(s): Thursdays, January 18 - February 8, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85821 (view map)
Type(s): Craft Class, Generative Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Poetry
We are poets because, at some point in our lives, a poem sang to us—like nothing else. (Louise Gluck writes an account of feeling suddenly personally spoken to and un-lonely when reading Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock; Elizabeth Bishop was inspired by 17th-Century lyricist George Herbert, who also visited her in a dream. Ask any poet and there’s another story.) To become a poet means, among other things, to go to singing school. As William Butler Yeats wrote in his “Sailing to Byzantium”: Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence.
We are going to read magnificent old poems as well as newer poems, looking at how they are fashioned and why they work: formal and free verse, long- and short-lined poems, poems written originally in English as well as a few poems in translation. This is going to be a way of revitalizing your own work--revising your drafts into stronger poems, and creating new poems out of sheer excitement and love of the craft. (I’ll provide optional prompts and exercises for ongoing inspiration.) The best teachers in the world are the poems themselves—and so we are going to read together and help one another see what ideas are there for the taking. We are going to read like robbers.