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A certain kind of poem reaches out a long arm and sweeps disparate, unexpected things into its net. It scoops in a great deal of material that is more or less obviously related. It doesn’t hug the shore or walk a narrow line. It retains a kind of wildness. Yet the elements have enough magnetic attraction, enough resonance, that the writing feels organically whole. We’ll look at examples and give suggestions for bringing more controlled chaos into your own writing, and we’ll write a draft of a new poem in the workshop. It is strongly recommended that you attend the Word Works lecture at Hugo House on Sept. 23.
Co-Presented with LiTFUSE.
Ellen Bass‘s poetry includes Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), and Mules of Love (BOA, 2002). She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the groundbreaking No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday, 1973). Her nonfiction books include The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins, 1988, 2008) and Free Your Mind: The Book for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth (HarperCollins, 1996). Her work has frequently been published in the New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, and the New York Times Magazine, as well as many other journals. Among her awards are a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship from the California Arts Council, two Pushcart Prizes, the Lambda Literary Award, Elliston Book Award, Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod/Hardman, Larry Levis Prize from Missouri Review, and the New Letters Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University. www.ellenbass.com