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In this reading-and-writing immersion in the ode, we’ll read and discuss several landmark poems in the ode tradition in English and Spanish. Following the ideas of C.D. Wright’s essay “The New American Ode,” we’ll look for the survival of the spirit of the ode (rather than traditional form) in contemporary poems by John Weiners, Bernadette Mayer, Kevin Young, Ken Chen, and others. Drawing from these insights, students will write an ode of their own and we will workshop a draft, hopefully opening the door for further exploration.
Ed Skoog is the author of two books of poems, Rough Day and Mister Skylight, both published by Copper Canyon Press. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. He has been writer-in-residence at the Hugo House and George Washington University and a visiting professor at the University of Montana.