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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 most recent books are This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009; and the bilingual volume by Chilean poet Eugenia Toledo, Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre / Map Traces, Blood Traces (2017), a Finalist for the 2018 Washington State Book Award in Poetry, and also for the 2018 PEN Los Angeles Award in Translation. She is co-editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse, 2015), which received ten Pushcart Prize nominations. Author of nine previous books and chapbooks of poetry, four other volumes of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali, and a book of essays, Wright has served as Visiting Poet and professor of Creative Writing at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., including Harvard, Radcliffe, Emory University and the University of Miami. She returned in 2005 to her native Seattle, where she teaches for Hugo House, the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program (from 2005 until the program’s closure in 2016), and for national and international literary conferences and festivals. She spent a year in Chile on a Fulbright Study Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende, and also traveled throughout Brazil. Wright has received fellowships from the NEA, 4Culture, and Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture. She returned to Brazil for two months in 2018 with an Instituto Sacatar artists residency in Bahia, and she has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award for Brazil for 2020-2021, which she will take up once the global coronavirus travel advisory is lifted.
Photo by Brian Weiss