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Poetry has been called the most condensed form of verbal expression. This course will consider the role – or perhaps the power – of what’s left out of a poem. Poets all deal with the question of how to stop – where to break a line, when to end a poem. What’s enough? What’s too much? The instructor will discuss her own practice (with examples) and the class will discuss poems by Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, Graham Foust, etc. Please bring a poem (by anyone) that you find relevant to this topic and a poem of your own with which you aren’t entirely pleased.
Rae Armantrout has published thirteen books of poems. Her most recent books are Itself and Just Saying, both from Wesleyan. Versed (Wesleyan, 2009) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle award in 2010. She is professor emeritus at UC San Diego.