Spring 2017: How to Deal with this World (in your poems)


Spring 2017: How to Deal with this World (in your poems)


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Saturday April 8 & Sunday April 9, 2017
10:00 to 2:30 p.m. (half hour break for lunch)
Class meets at Literary Arts, 925 SW Washington
Class is limited to 12 students

Poets will always have the option to write about sunsets, or clouds, or flowers. Poets can always turn to Greek Myths, or Basho, or Shakespeare for material. And cats! Cats, too, are eternal. But what’s a poet to do who wants to write meaningfully about today?

How can one incorporate social media into a poem or a poetic practice without being consumed by it? How does a mind even make sense of the maelstrom of prismatic stimulation and spectacle that defines the modern condition, and then how do they order it into poetic truth?

In this class, students will be challenged to engage with the actual world they encounter each day, and to discover new ways to engage it both in form and as content. Alongside the work students produce for this class, they will also  look at poems from a number of current traditions and discuss how poets are already adapting their practices to this world. By the end of the course, students will have developed new ways uniquely their own of being engaged, keeping their balance, and surfing modernity in and around their poems.

Donald Dunbar is the author of Eyelid Lickwinner of the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series prize, and Safe Word, forthcoming from Gramma Poetry in mid-2017. His poems have appeared in Tin HouseAcademy of American Poets Poem-a-DayPEN America, and dozens of other publications, and his critical writing includes the columnPOEMHACK which helped writers rethink their poems through close reading. He is/has been involved with draft: The Journal of ProcessThe Poetry Data Project, and the long-running PDX reading series If Not For Kidnap