The Image Factory: A Poetry Workshop
In this class, we will read poets who push the boundaries of logic and utilize wild, irrational imagery that often stops the reader in his or her tracks. Poets to be read include 19th-century French Symbolists; French and Spanish Surrealists of the 1920s-’30s; American poets from the ’60s whose work is fueled by stark, leaping imagery; post-World War II Eastern Europeans; and a number of contemporary writers who drive their imaginations above the proverbial speed limit. Class time will be split between discussing published work and student work. In addition to our weekly workshops, there will be biweekly screenings where we will examine surrealist cinema, including several films by Luis Buñuel, looking for parallels and conversation between the genres. Through writing exercises and revision, students will be pushed to explore associative imagery in their own poetry and to discover for themselves the various ways that similes and metaphors can be employed to create a more three-dimensional experience for the reader. Students will read the equivalent of a book a week and turn in a new poem each week. The semester will culminate with students vigorously revising a small manuscript of poems.