Classy Talk with Jane Wong | Fall 2014

Posted Tue, 9/02/2014 - 9:08pm by  |  Category:

Jane WongWhat is the title of your class? 

Ending a Poem

What’s one thing you hope your students will take away from the class?

I hope that students will feel energized by trying out new approaches! Ending a poem can be such a scary craft move; we’ll discover how and why certain endings “work” and how to get there from the beginning!

What sorts of writers will you be reading/assigning in class? Why?

We will be reading and discussing a variety of poets who have different approaches and aesthetics. From Emily Dickinson to Adrienne Rich, we’ll look at how poets move towards endings  endings that surprise, that reflect, that come without warning, etc.  

Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?

Yes! You can find me on FacebookTumblr, and Instagram. I post updates on my site frequently, including upcoming readings (such as a reading at Elliot Bay Bookstore on my birthday!) and recent publications.

Are any of your works online and available to the public? 

Yes! I update my website regularly with poems and essays. Recent poems can be found online in places such as Four Way ReviewPinwheelSixth Finch, and Linebreak. To get a sense of me as a writer, check out this lovely piece in City Arts about my poetry.

What’s your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy revolves around taking risks in the classroom. I love trying out new exercises and collaborating. I believe in rigor and responsiveness, kindness and direction.

What advice do you have about getting into the habit of writing regularly?

Get away from the desk or the computer. Write on the bus, write while you’re grocery shopping, write while you’re brushing your teeth. Jamaica Kincaid always writes with a sentence or two in her head. 

What are you working on right now? Where did the idea come from?

I’m working on my second poetry manuscript, which includes poems from years in my mother’s life. They are written from her perspective, such as “Twenty-Four” and “Thirty.” I’ve always been enamored by persona poems and being outside of one’s self.

What’s your favorite word in the English vocabulary?

I love so many words, but right now, let’s say “perpendicular.” The syllables are full of angles. 

Let’s talk writing inspiration—what’s the No. 1 thing that drives you to write?

Language and narrative! I can’t avoid it. And it always changes.