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Risking the Body Electric: Women Poets (un)Writing Flesh

Open—Fall

In this workshop, our reading and writing will concentrate on poetry that focuses itself on the interstices of identity and visual art in relation to body and ideology regarding women’s bodies. We will apply a polyglot lens to our workshop, employing visual art to anchor and generate poems that explore how issues of gender, race, sexual orientation, politics, government, violence, desire, power, capitalism, media, autobiography, nature, and art exert their forces in poetry. Students will generate new writing, participate in peer critiques and field trips, and make an effort to widen and reconfigure existing perceptions of women and poetry based upon visual prompts and poems. For conference work, students will be expected to select a poet’s work for extended study. Our reading will include work from Anne Sexton, Audre Lorde, Sylvia Plath, Lucy Grealy, Martha Collins, Kimiko Hahn, H.D., Muriel Rukeyser, Lucille Clifton, Sharon Olds, Sarah Arvio, Toi Derricotte, Adrienne Rich, and others. Our visual reading will include work from Francesca Woodman, Cindy Sherman, Mickalene Thomas, Frida Kahlo, Alice Neel, and others.