Meddling with the Matrix: Poetry of a Technological Era

We’re all highly aware of living in a technological world in a technological time surrounded by the many languages of techne: hi-tech, turbo, industrial, digital, AI, the net, the dark web, Google, Amazon, Tinder, tweets, Roombas, drones, self-checkout, Siri, influencers, bots, FaceTune, laser facials, data mining, doom scrolling, etc. Through technology, humans engineer visions of grandeur, escape and idealism, and also of doom. Nearly everything—our homes, medical care, science laboratories, food, relationships, wars, bodies—is wrought through and touched by technology. What can poetry—an oft romantic and nostalgic form—lead us to articulate about the lived experience of existing amid machines and within the simultaneous parallel universes of cyberspace? In this workshop, we’ll write poems about the experience of living in a technological world and time, grappling both with what such “advancements” give us and what they take away, while also looking to technology for formal inspiration. Poetry often helps us to escape disproportionately straightforward, logical ways of thinking through musicality, imagery and formal play, so we’ll look to thread the lyrical with the contemporary by borrowing from and subverting the peculiar languages and forms of the technologies that are a part of our everyday lives. Readings will include poems by Srikanth Reddy, Magad Zaher, Rebecca Lindenberg, Matthea Harvey, Noah Eli Gordon, Carmen Giménez Smith, Hala Alyan, Khadijah Queen, Safiya Sinclair, Jenny Xie and more. Each week we’ll generate new work (through exercises, discussion of poems, and a weekly writing prompt), and we’ll workshop one another’s poems, offering attentive, considered feedback. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Tuesday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.

Workshop Details

  • Professor: dawn lonsinger
  • Dates: February 15–March 29, 2022
  • Time: Tuesdays, 6:30–9:30 PM (ET)
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $445
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, FEB 6, 2022
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, FEB 6

dawn lonsinger

dawn lonsinger is the author of Whelm— winner of the Idaho Prize in Poetry, Cornell’s Freund Prize, and a Shelf Unbound Notable Book of the Year. Her poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Guernica, Los Angeles Review and elsewhere. Lyric essays have appeared in Black Warrior Review and Western Humanities Review. She is the recipient of the Corson Bishop Prize, Smartish Pace’s Beullah Rose Prize, a Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea. She has also won the Scowcroft Prize, an Academy of American Poets Prize, three Utah Arts Council Writing Awards and four Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes. lonsinger holds a BA in studio art and English as well as an MA in literature from Bucknell University, an MFA in poetry from Cornell University and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah. She is an associate professor of literature and creative writing at Muhlenberg College, where she was recently awarded the the Paul C. Empie ’29 Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching.