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In this class, we’ll learn from a poet whose popular image obscured her experiments in tone, diction, ellipsis; her audacity of metaphor; and her ability to rework the worn ballad meters of Protestant hymnals and break them into shards that approach free verse. Is Emily Dickinson America’s most radical poet? We’ll ponder this point and challenge our own writing practice, as we study and respond to poems from all phases of Dickinson’s most private of careers. The instructor will hold optional private conferences on the last weekend of the class to discuss a short portfolio of poems.
Required texts will be available at the Elliott Bay Book Company:
Thomas H. Johnson, editor, Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson’s Poems (Little, Brown, 1961)
Thomas H. Johnson, editor, Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters (Belknap/Harvard, 1986).
No class June 7.
Deborah Woodard's first full-length collection, Plato's Bad Horse, appeared in 2006 (Bear Star Press). Her new collection, Borrowed Tales, was recently published by Stockport Flats.