What are the objects, private and public, that inspire poetry? Think of the talismans that litter your writing desk or the bird on an elevated train track that moves you to write poems. Through our poems, we pay homage to the objects we adore, elevating them from the mundane to the realm of the creative imaginary. This workshop will explore how the material and the abstract collide in the author’s mind, adding specificity to their work and helping them focus on the transformation of energy from non-sentient thing to living object. We will study the work of authors like Gertrude Stein, Maggie Nelson, Chelsea Minnis, Francis Ponge and CA Conrad to learn how to balance the pathos we invest in objects (vanity, beauty, fascination, aspiration) with skill, purpose and earnest intention. Similarly to CA Conrad’s somatic exercises, students will interact in class with materials like crystals, metals, textiles and art objects as jumping off points for their best possible writing.
Paige Taggart is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Or Replica (Brooklyn Arts Press, Dec 2014) and Want for Lion (Trembling Pillow Press, March 2014), and five chapbooks, most recently I Am Writing To You from Another Country: Translations of Henri Michaux (Greying Ghost Press). She graduated with a BA in Visual Studies from California College of the Arts and went on to complete an MFA in Creative Writing at the New School. She was a 2009 NYFA fellow and is the founder of Mactaggart Jewelry.