Writing Alongside Whitman & Ginsberg [Deborah Woodard]
This class is devoted to writing alongside two masters of the American vernacular. We’ll start with Walt Whitman, exploring his long line, his musical phrasing, and his expansive extensions of the poetic “I.” Then, casting all caution to the winds, we’ll move to Whitman’s heir apparent, another celebrant of cosmic selfhood, Allen Ginsberg. Goodies along the way include Whitman’s handwritten corrections in his Blue Book, Delius’ musical adaptation of “Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking,” Ginsberg’s recordings of “Howl” and “Kaddish,” in particular, and juicy Beat movement history in general. There will also be weekly writing prompts.
Required texts will be available at the Elliott Bay Book Company:
Ginsberg, Allen. Selected Poems, 1947-1995 (Harper Collins 2001).
Whitman, Walt. Introduction by Peter Davison and Billy Collins. Leaves of Grass (Signet
Classic 2013), or any version of the 1892, Deathbed Edition.