Poem Cycles & Extended Projects
We listen to our favorite songs over and over, rewatch the same shows for the hundredth time in a row—we are always coming back to what we know. What is that compulsion? Is it because these things give us comfort, or because there’s something about them that we just can’t fully put down? In this five-week online workshop, we will explore how sensations of continuity and expansion can get worked out in poetic cycles or extended projects—small bodies of work which, like houses, need every room in order to function. We’ll read cycles of poetry by poets both contemporary and classic, while also drawing inspiration from music. The focus, ultimately, is to shift our thinking away from making “a collection of poems” to a more self-contained body of work, as much the sum of its parts as all the individual pieces. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Saturday afternoon, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
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Constantine Jones is a queer Greek-American thingmaker raised in Tennessee and currently housed in Brooklyn. Author of the debut poetry collection In Still Rooms (The Operating System, 2020) and a Visual AIDS Artist+ Member, their work has found homes in the PEN Poetry Series, Blood Tree, Stone Pacific, Hematopoiesis and Fugue, among other publications. Their poem “Screening” was selected by Mark Doty as runner-up in the 23+ age bracket of our Whitman Bicentennial Poetry Contest. They teach creative writing at the City College of New York, where they earned an MFA.