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“I don’t like teaching,” were the words with which Elizabeth Bishop began her legendary workshops at the University of Washington, “but we’ll practice the most basic, useful poetic strategy — to write in form.” In this workshop modeled on her example, we will read poems in form by Bishop, Weldon Kees, neo-Formalists, and others. We’ll explore how form helps poets achieve surprising leaps in their language and try forms such as pantoum, triolet, villanelle, and abecedarian.
Suggested texts: Elizabeth Bishop, The Complete Poems: 1927-1979. Farrar, Straus, Giroux (any edition) or Elizabeth Bishop, Poems. FSG, 2011. An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art. U of Michigan Press, 2002.
No class May 26.
Carolyne Wright’s new book is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Poetry 2009 and the Pushcart Prize XXXIV: Best of the Small Presses (2010). Her ground-breaking anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), received ten Pushcart Prize nominations and was a finalist in the Foreword Review's Book of the Year Awards. Her nine earlier volumes of poetry include Seasons of Mangoes & Brainfire (Eastern Washington UP/Lynx House Books), which won the Blue Lynx Prize and the American Book Award; and A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press), finalist for the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award and the Idaho Prize. A Seattle native who studied with Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Hugo, and William Stafford, among others, Wright lived in Chile and traveled in Brazil on a Fulbright Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende; and spent four years on Fulbright and other fellowships in India and Bangladesh, translating Bengali women poets. She has five volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali. A Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes, a Senior Editor for Lost Horse Press, and an Advisory Board member for Raven Chronicles, Wright has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, 4Culture, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, and she will spend two months in Bahia, Brazil, on a writing residency at the Instituto Sacatar.
Photo by Brian Weiss