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Robert Hass has written that human beings “can’t sustain wonder.” Yet that’s the challenge facing the narrative poem: how to sustain wonder beyond the lyric moment of inspiration into the narrative momentum of the story. We’ll create and share new work, exploring strategies to generate longer poems and to keep them going. We’ll consider poetic forms, including prose poems, which lend themselves to narrative voices and rhythms: sequence, collage, narrative, reflection, and epic. The instructor will give an individual conference with each student.
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