What is the title of your class?
Master Class in Poetry
People should take this class if…
they want to join a smart, lively, often passionate 10-week (never long enough!) discussion of poetry’s problems and — how do I say it? — rocketship rides!
Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?
Sure, on Facebook or Instagram. Seems I’m the only Kary Wayson.
Are any of your works online and available to the public?
I think so. I haven’t looked myself up in a while, but I think there are quite a few pieces out there on the internets…
What’s your teaching philosophy?
Study the masters!!!!
If you could only bring one novel, story, or poem to a deserted island, which would you bring and why?
One poem is a hard one. I guess I’d say Rilke’s “Archaic Torso.” That’s just such the uber-poem to me. Or Dickinson’s 640! If I could choose a whole collection, on a lot of days I’d choose Jack Gilbert’s The Great Fires. But of course the tragedy is in having to choose, because now I want to change my mind.
What are you currently working on?
A very looong and frag/ment/ed (book-length) poem called “The Lives of Artists.”
If there was one piece of advice you could give an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Study the masters!!!
What do you like best about Hugo House?
The very fact of its existence. Seriously. In those lost couple of years in my mid-twenties, after (finally) graduating from college, but before I moved to Seattle in 1995 to get my MFA at UW, I’d moved from Portland (my hometown) to Minneapolis because, well, Prince, but also because of the Loft Literary Center there, a place much like the Hugo House where I could take poetry classes from great teachers while I was considering graduate school. I needed then what I still need now, a place to go with poetry and teachers. Here in Seattle, the Hugo House was born (so lucky for me and so many of us!!) pretty much the minute I was finished with my MFA, so when I left that (safe, supportive) academic world, I had an actual place to go with my poems. And the rest is not only my history, but probably also your history, and also very much the present and the future we count on as poets and writers living in Seattle.
What are you reading now? If you could pair it with a beverage (alcoholic or otherwise), what would you choose?
An old Paris Review interview with Jorie Graham. Earl Grey with a little milk and honey, honey.