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The textures of a strong poet’s voice can seem both perfectly identifiable and mysteriously indescribable. Parsing a poet’s voice can be a vexing exercise, involving a complex amalgam of subject matter, style and craft, features of biography and identity, plus any number of other elements. Using some remarkable models—from Frank Bidart to Lois Ann Yamanaka, Brigit Pegeen Kelly to Arthur Sze—we’ll examine the constitution of a poet’s voice. The instructor will assign a weekly writing prompt, and part of each class meeting will be devoted to lightly workshopping the poems written by participants.
Rick Barot has published two books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002), and Want (2008). Sarabande will publish his third book, Chord, in 2015. He is an associate professor of English at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and is on the faculty of the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.