Revisionist Singing—Walking Your Poems Through the Ages


In Exercises in Style, Raymond Queneau re-imagines one brief narrative... in 99 different versions. We won't get that obsessive in our week together, but we will read a number of poets from different "schools" and carefully listen to different modes of expression that might help us re-work our own poems.  How might Romantic, Modernist, Confessional, Objectivist, New York School, and Oulipo voices help us to see our subjects and our language differently? Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with these various schools of expression—just know that we'll use a playful variety of syntactical, musical, and rhetorical strategies to revise our poems, trusting our eyes and ears to take in and learn from what others have done over time. Lively discussions of individual poems and major poetic movements, along with liberating and exploratory exercises, will inspire us to revisit our own work. When you come to Iowa City, bring three of your own lyric poems that you'd like to re-envision in multiple ways.

In this workshop, we will generate new writing through exercises and assignments; provide feedback on writing brought from home as we revise poems in class.

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