"Poetry, Recklessness and Revision" with Laura Passin

Course description:

In The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction, Dean Young declares that, in poetry writing, “The error is not to fall but to fall from no height.” In other words, the most terrible failure a poet can make is to risk nothing, to write a poem that is so safe there’s no danger of falling. According to Young, poets must be willing to fail in order to create something meaningful. What does it mean to take risks in poetry? How can you be reckless without wrecking your poem? In this intensive weekend seminar, we will use readings, in-class writing exercises, and group collaboration to create poems, take them apart, and put them together again. We will take inspiration from poets such as Lucille Clifton, Sharon Olds, Jericho Brown, and others, analyzing how they use poetry to face danger. The class will be conducted in English, and all writing exercises and required readings will be in English. Instead of a textbook, we will read poems selected by the instructor, which will be made available before the seminar and should be read in advance. This seminar is open to everyone, regardless of poetry writing experience. The only requirement is a desire to try!