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Through a series of targeted exercises and by reading an array of poets both contemporary and older, we’ll work on generating new poems. Along the way, we’ll discuss the elements of poetry (phanopoeia, melopoeia, and logopoeia) and issues of craft. Our goal will be to have several completed poems by the end of the class and a number of poem starts, ideas, and inspirations to work at in your own time. All experience levels welcome, and individual conferences if desired.
Judith Roche is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Wisdom of the Body, an American Book Award winner. She has poems installed on several Seattle-area public art projects, has taught at various universities, and teaches poetry workshops throughout the country.
Teaching philosophy: My teaching philosophy is to met each student at his or her comfortable level and try to point out ways to extend that comfort level to gently and respectfully lead the student to try things he or she hasn’t thought of before. We all tend to write within our own conventions and I hope, by my exercises and suggestions, to facilitate students to surprise themselves by write something they might not have thought they would write. In other words, to break out of their own conventions, while assisting them to write further and deeper into what they are already passionate about..
Writers I return to: Blake, Whitman, Keats, H.D., Bob Hicock, Dorianne Laux, Sharon Doubiago, Anne Carson, Lorca, Hugo, Roethke, Richard Wilber, Robert Duncan, Michael Palmer, Sherman Alexie. As you can see, my aesthetic is all over the place in terms of poetic lineage but I teach (and read) what has really spoken to me and that’s what I want to pass on.
Favorite writing advice: A famous poet once told me to “go against the grain” and I’ve listened to that advice, which did extend my writing chops. Another famous poet told me to follow your obsessions. It’s that combination, which could be taken as contradictory, but really isn’t. To follow your obsessions but find new ways to talk about what you are really passionate about that makes for fresh and surprising writing.