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Jorie Graham: Syntax and Disjunction in Poetry

Jun 23
Jun 30
7 - 9 PM Central
Gary McDowell
Online via Zoom
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Studying a single poet's work in depth can provide us insight into how obsessions and resonant sources shape our verse. Over decades, Jorie Graham's syntax has developed into a singular expression unique in our literature; hers is a work obsessed with disjunction, parataxis, and association, all of it driven by a syntax rich in inversion, complexity, and nuance. We will read and study some of Graham's more inventive poems during our first week and then turn our attention toward miming her work via writing exercises in our second week. Join us as we explore the work of one of American poetry's titans.

Gary McDowell's Aflame won the 2019 White Pine Press Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in Fall 2020. He is also the author of Caesura: Essays (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2017) and Mysteries in a World that Thinks There Are None (Burnside Review Press, 2016), among other books. His poems and essays have appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, New England Review, and The Southern Review.

What Our Students Say

“Gary is amazing! I wish I'd had a writing teacher like him in college. Belmont's lucky.”

“Gary is such an enthusiastic, warm teacher. He provided individual feedback on top of giving us thoroughly thought out readings and exercises each week!”

“I have taken two classes with Gary and they have both been wonderful! He really encourages open and honest discussion about the subjects that we’re focusing on, and has helped inspire me to write things I would not have written has it not been for his classes. I feel so lucky to have found the Porch, and I hope to take more classes in the future!”

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