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This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time.
All Levels | Imagine Boston in the 1960s: Elizabeth Bishop sitting in the audience as Anne Sexton performs “Woman with Girdle” accompanied by her underground band, Her Kind. Imagine Bishop and Adrienne Rich on a road trip together, so engaged in their conversation that they miss their turn. Imagine Sexton and Sylvia Plath taking an adult education class together and then going to the bar at the Ritz after class. In the 20th century, the poetic landscape was primarily the jurisdiction of the male poets, and yet these four women became arguably more important American writers than any men of their time. In this class, we’ll read their work with an eye to the intersections and influences they had upon each other. Optional writing prompts will be provided. All students in reading classes will receive a book club discount on the instructor’s reading list at the Elliott Bay Book Co.
Susan Rich is the author of four collections of poetry including Cloud Pharmacy, The Alchemist’s Kitchen, named a finalist for the Foreword Prize and the Washington State Book Award, Cures Include Travel, and The Cartographer’s Tongue, winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry and the Peace Corps Writers Award. Along with Brian Turner and Jared Hawkley, she is editor of The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders. She has received awards and fellowships from Artist Trust, CityArtists, 4Culture, The Times Literary Supplement of London, Peace Corps Writers and the Fulbright Foundation. Rich’s poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, New England Review, and the Southern Review.
She has worked as a staff person for Amnesty International, an electoral supervisor in Bosnia Herzegovina, and a human rights trainer in Gaza and the West Bank. Rich lived in the Republic of Niger, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, later moving to South Africa to teach at the University of Cape Town on a Fulbright Fellowship.
Rich’s international awards include the Times Literary Supplement Award, a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland and a residency at Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain. Other poetry honors include an Artist Trust Fellowship, a 4 Culture Award, a Seattle CityArtist Project Award, a GAP Award, and participation in the Cuirt Literary Festival in Galway, Ireland.
Her poems have been published in the Antioch Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Christian Science Monitor, Harvard Review, Gettysburg Review, New England Review, Northwest Review, Poetry International and The Southern Review. Anthologized poems and essays are included in Best Essays of the Northwest, Poets of the American West, Poem Home: An Anthology of Ars Poetica, I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poets in Defense of Human Rights, Poem Revised: 54 Poems, and The Working Poet: 75 Poetry Writing Exercises. Susan is an alumna of Hedgebrook, the Helen Whiteley Center and the Ucross Foundation. She serves on the boards of Crab Creek Review, Floating Bridge Press and Whit Press.
Educated at the University of Massachusetts, Harvard University, and the University of Oregon, Susan Rich lives in Seattle and teaches at Highline College where she runs the reading series, Highline Listens: Writers Read Their Work. She has two collections forthcoming: The Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems (Salmon Press) and Blue Atlas (Red Hen Press).