The Poetry of Excess

“Poetry should surprise by a fine excess,” wrote John Keats. In this workshop, students will revel in excess, gluttony and greed–whether it be in the tradition of Whitman’s long-lined cry of celebration, Frank O’Hara’s indulgence in sincerity and feeling, Catullus’s spurts of erotic play, or better yet, the creation of a new tradition of excess. Students will experiment with various poetic forms of indulgence, play and splendor, studying, imitating and attempting to exceed the works of Whitman, O’Hara, Catullus, Sappho, Rimbaud, Artaud, Bernadette Mayer, Chelsey Minnis, Dana Ward, Alice Notley and Ariana Reines, among others.

Workshop Details

Jenny Zhang

Jenny Zhang is the author of the poetry collection Dear Jenny, We Are All Find (Octopus Books, 2012). Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in Fence, HTMLGIANT, Glimmertrain, Pen American, Coconut, Octopus, Jezebel, The Guardian and Vice, among other venues. She’s a regular contributor to Rookie, curates Stain of Poetry, a monthly reading series in Bushwick, and was a 2012-2013 Workspace writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was awarded a Teaching-Writing Fellowship and a Provost Fellowship, and has taught fiction, nonfiction and poetry at Iowa, the New School and Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. She currently teaches high school students in the Bronx and lives in Williamsburg.