Fast Break

Capturing the Motion of the Mind

How does a poem capture the mind thinking? How, in the words of Frank Bidart, does a poem “embody the mind moving through the elements of its world, actively contending with and organizing them?” In this workshop, participants will explore the relationship between syntax, line and the movements of the mind—how sentences and phrases work with and against a poem’s lines to enact the motion of the mind thinking. Participants will consider the options of both leaving out and leaving in as ways to capture consciousness. Readings will include poems by Christopher Smart, Wislawa Szymborska, A. R. Ammons, Mary Ruefle, Edward Hirsch, Terrance Hayes, Morgan Parker, Ross Gay and others.

Workshop Details


Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture” by Brooklyn Magazine, Jason Koo is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets and creator of the Bridge. He is the author of the poetry collections More Than Mere Light, America’s Favorite Poem and Man on Extremely Small Island and coeditor of the Brooklyn Poets Anthology. The winner of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and New York State Writers Institute, he earned his BA in English from Yale, his MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston and his PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is an associate teaching professor of English at Quinnipiac University and lives in Williamsburg.