Poetry and Memory [Erica Jong and Kim Dower]
All Levels | Memory is specific, sensory and concrete—like the best writing. We will learn how our forgotten memories of simple things—from the taste of an ice-cream soda, to holding a kitten in our lap, to the sound of our third grade teacher’s voice—can create surprising and fresh poems. We will explore the rich territory of ideas, people, places, and emotions from our past, and examine how memory can inform and affect our writing. Students will learn how uncovering one memory often leads to another and another, creating fresh, imaginative, surprising work. The session will be a mixture of lecture, reading classical and contemporary poetry based on poets’ memories, practicing “fever writing” or “automatic writing,” and tapping into our memories and the subconscious and reading aloud to the class. Techniques may also be of value to artists working in other disciplines—we can capture and utilize details from our memories to use as inspiration no matter what our discipline.