Poetry 2: "With an Abundance of Pleasure & Pain: Centering & Declaring the Body in Poetic Landscapes"

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Poetry 2: "With an Abundance of Pleasure & Pain: Centering & Declaring the Body in Poetic Landscapes"

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Often I am permitted to return to a meadow
as if it were a given property of the mind
that certain bounds hold against chaos,
that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.

—Robert Duncan

Poems are bodies that remind us we have bodies. But what if you feel erased in your own body or blurred on the margins? Do you have a fraught relationship with some part of your body? What even is a body, and how do we, as Mary Oliver writes keep, “announcing [our] place in the family of things” through these somatic intersections between the page and poet?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the body as a big ship on a voyage through these various landscapes, both physical and psychological. In this workshop, we will explore these various sites of pleasure and pain by examining techniques and strategies for situating the body to the forefront of the page, instead of the periphery, by exploring our own origins and myths, rethinking our relationship to history via received forms, avoiding terminal closure, toggling grief and gratitude, and the interrogative mood. We will examine an essay from Robin Coste Lewis as well as poems from Linda Gregg, Jennifer Chang, Evie Shockley, Lucille Clifton, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, Monica Youn, Kendra DeColo, Sharon Olds, Melissa Broder, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Danez Smith, and more. All aboard!

  • Instructor: Tiana Clark

  • Length of workshop: 3 Hours

  • Date: Saturday, Sep. 8

  • Time: 2 - 5 pm

  • Location: Humanities Tennessee Offices
    807 Main St., Ste. B
    Nashville, TN 37206

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