You know how you are thinking of a poem as you go about your day, noticing one thing after another, wondering what it all adds up to? In this five-week online workshop, we’ll immerse ourselves in the practice of writing what Frank O’Hara called the I-do-this-I-do-that poem, while reading poems by a wide gallery of poets who find a way to take the present and move out into revelation. And what a present the fall of 2020 will be! Between the pandemic and the election, our daily rounds will surely feel the press of history, and we are going to make meaning from our experience of it. We will look to our days—streets, chores, friends, strangers, conversations, observations, limitations—for the text of our poems and for the subtext of our preoccupations. It all adds up. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Thursday night, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
Jessica Greenbaum’s first book, Inventing Difficulty, was awarded the Gerald Cable Prize and praised by George Steiner as a “first book by a poet very much to be listened to.” Her second book, The Two Yvonnes, was chosen by Paul Muldoon for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and recognized by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of Poetry in 2012. Of her most recent book, Spilled and Gone, Grace Schulman says the poems are “enlivened by keen observation, a fresh mind, and a vivid sense of place that makes me want to be there, with her, in her world.” A recipient of awards from the NEA and PSA, she teaches inside and outside academia, including for Barnard College and Footsteps, a service agency for people who have left ultra-Orthodoxy.