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Double-talk or “Real” Talk: Considering the Villanelle & Pantoum with Dzvinia Orlowsky via Zoom

November 5, 2023 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Polish poet and Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz describes the act of the poet as a passionate pursuit of the real. Taking a close look at early as well as contemporary villanelles and pantoums, we will try to determine what separates the real from double-talk. Poems by Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Donald Justice, Rita Dove, Marilyn Hacker, Adrienne Su, Natalie Diaz, and others will be considered to illustrate how repeated phrases create subtle shifts of meaning. This class will incorporate an in-class writing assignment. Bring one of your poems to revise as a villanelle or pantoum. 

Required reading:  Handouts to be emailed in advance. Reading note/question: How do these poems fulfill their demand for pattern while maintaining their rigor and emotional intensity? 

NB: This class will be taught on Zoom and will be capped at 15 students. Registrants will receive the Zoom link to the email address they use to register. It will arrive immediately after registration so please check your spam folder if you do not receive it. It will also be sent the day before class as a reminder. Please review the course policies page before registering for any classes. Please email ask @writerscenter.org with any questions. The scholarship application for the Altman Person of Color Scholarships, Limp Wrist LGBTQIA+ Scholarships, and the Need-Based Scholarships will be available on May 1st and will be due May 20th for all classes June 1-December 20, 2023.

Dzvinia Orlowsky is a Pushcart prize poet, an award-winning translator, and a founding editor of Four Way Books. She’s published six poetry collections including A Handful of Bees, reprinted for the Carnegie Mellon University Classic Contemporary Series; Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones, winner of a Sheila Motton Book Award; Silvertone, for which she was named Ohio Poetry Day Association’s Co-Poet of the Year, and Bad Harvest, a 2019 Massachusetts Book Awards “Must Read” in Poetry. In 2014 Dialogos published her and Jeff Friedman’s co-translations of Memorials by Polish poet Mieczyslaw Jastrun for which in 2016 they were awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship. Her poem sequence “The (Dis)enchanted Desna” was selected by Robert Pinsky as a 2019 winner of the New England Poetry Club Samuel Washington Allen Prize and in 2021 She and co-translator Ali Kinsella received the New England Poetry Club’s Diana Der Hovanessian Prize selected by Jean Dany Joachim for their translation of Natalka Bilotserkivets’ poem “Allergy”. Her co-translations with Ali Kinsella from Ukrainian, Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow: Selected Poems by Natalka Bilotserkivets, was published by Lost Horse Press in Fall, 2021 and shortlisted for the 2022 Griffin International Prize in Poetry.


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November 5, 2023
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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