Often in times of distress, it is easy to turn to poems about resilience, light and ongoingness for support. But what about all the emotions in between suffering and salvation that flow and recede—that make us human, feel seen? In this weekly drop-in class, we’ll look at poems about rage, as well as poems about the preceding and peripheral emotions closely tethered to anger, such as frustration, grief, confusion, devastation and empathy. We’ll explore what comes after rage. How does an artist use it as fuel, and what to do when the fuel is gone? How does one move on? Can we make an emotion as complicated as rage “poetic”? Can rage itself be generative/constructive/useful in an artistic practice? Texts will include pieces by Katie Condon, June Jordan, Carolyn Kizer, Ada Limón, Audre Lorde, Susan Nguyen, Kyle Dargan, Rachel McKibbens, Adrienne Rich, Monica Sok, Danez Smith, Franz Wright and others. Sharing will be encouraged but optional. (Note that drop-in classes are not a forum for critique of work; students looking for critique should register for multi-week workshops.)
Isabella DeSendi is a Latina poet and educator whose work has been published in Narrative, Leveler, Small Orange and other places. Her chapbook Through the New Body won the Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship and was published in 2020. Most recently, she received a Poets & Writers BIPOC grant, and she has been named a finalist for the Frontier Digital Poetry Chapbook Award, the June Jordan Fellowship, Narrative‘s Annual Poetry Prize and Palette‘s Spotlight Award. Isabella holds an MFA from Columbia University and currently resides in New Jersey.