Creative Writing, Comparative Writing
What is a comparative poetics? Across which boundaries does poetry move—and move us? This creating writing course takes up the question of how poetry moves across form, language, media, the self, geography, and our readerly expectations. Over the course of the summer session, we will pair the practice of writing our own poetry with the critical reading of poetic texts and one another’s work. Each week of this course is organized around a theme: form(ation), translation, mixed-mediation, narrativization, re/dislocation, and experimentation. These six themes will both serve as the basis for weekly prompts and will also center our discussions of poetry by Rosa Alcalá, Jen Bervin, Sagawa Chika and Sawako Nakayasu, Lyn Hejinian, Bhanu Kapil, Douglas Kearney, M. NourbeSe Philip, Simone White, and others. These discussions will ground twice-weekly workshops (which will open with discussions of a published poem), in which we will share and discuss work in progress.
By the end of the course, each of you will have produced a portfolio of poems, given a presentation or performance of your work, and developed a statement on poetics; you will also have gained skills in approaching poetic texts work ranging from Middle English lyric to contemporary multi-lingual translations, from life writing caught up in the present to works entangled in historical archives—skills that will prepare you to read poetic texts in the future and that will offer a foundation for your own writing practices.