In this weekly drop-in class we’ll cast a wide net looking at poems in which the speaker is speaking to a you. Who is speaking? Who is being addressed? A beloved? An enemy? A late-night companion? We’ll look at how the focus and direction of the address shapes and informs the poems. What happens when the focus of the address is placed on the speaker themselves and not an “other” separate from themselves? We’ll also look at epistolary poems, or poems written as letters, and do a deep dive into the voice and details that make these poems jump off the page. Each week we’ll focus on two or three poems from a collection by a single poet, then write our own poems in response to what we’ve read, using prompts derived from each selection for that session. We’ll read poems by Louise Gluck, Chen Chen, Benjamin Garcia, Heidi Seaborne, Saeed Jones, Eugenia Leigh, Victoria Chang, Shira Erlichman and Ada Limon. 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.)
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Seth Leeper is a queer poet. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Sycamore Review, River Styx, the Journal, Salamander, EcoTheo Review and the Account. A 2022 Brooklyn Poets Fellow, he holds an MA in special education from Pace University and BA in creative writing and fashion journalism from San Francisco State University. He lives and teaches in Brooklyn, NY. He tweets @sethwleeper.