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Description in an Emergency: Poems as envelopes of attention with Jay Deshpande via Zoom
May 16 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm$124
Especially in times of crisis, we can look to poems as a way to learn the skills of attention and presence that can best help us to move forward with strength and wholeness in a difficult world. This one-day workshop will focus on the crafting of imagery and fine-tuned description. Strong images are always essential to good poems, but at root it is the quality of attention that we’re after. By studying examples from Wang Wei up through Pound, Oppen, Jorie Graham, and Ross Gay, we’ll improve our ability to look carefully, to render the image on the page, and then to look even further. In so doing, we’ll also consider how creative writing connects to mindfulness, and the opportunities it provides for moments of wakeful attention, even amid upheaval. Intended for writers of all levels, the class will include in-class writing prompts and an online workshop with individual feedback.
Please note: This class will be taught ONLINE using Zoom, which is a very user-friendly platform to facilitate video classes from your computer. Students will receive login instructions in via email as part of their registration confirmation. We will maintain the same high caliber of course and instruction with the same emphasis on keeping class sizes small.
Jay Deshpande is the author of Love the Stranger, named a top debut of 2015 by Poets & Writers, and of the chapbook The Rest of the Body (both from YesYes Books). His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Narrative, and elsewhere. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, he has received fellowships or support from Kundiman, Civitella Ranieri, Saltonstall Arts Colony, and the Key West Literary Seminar.Jay also writes about travel, music, literature, and popular culture. He has written extensively for Slate; his essays and reviews also appear in The New Republic, Rhapsody, Boston Review, The Guardian, The Millions, Publishers Weekly, and elsewhere.
Currently, he is a 2018-2020 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He is at work on a collection of poems and on a book of translations of Egyptian surrealist Georges Henein. As an educator, Jay has taught creative writing at Columbia University, Rutgers University, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Born in Austin, Texas, he now lives in San Francisco.
See some of Jay’s poems here: