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Poetry as Thought: a Craft/Reading Class with Sean Singer via Zoom

April 7 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Allen Grossman said: “The function of poetry is to make for everybody one kind of success at the limits of the autonomy of the will to affect its purposes by other means. The limits of the autonomy of the will to which the practice of poetry corresponds are death and the barriers which prevent access to other minds. Such limits of the will become our fundamental concern.”

This course will be about using poetry to improve and clarify thinking, and to clarify and improve our thinking about poetry. Each week will be devoted to one or two craft-related problems. Readings will be a range of underrated poets with emphasis on form. We will read the very best examples of these craft issues along with writing exercises designed to practice those skills in our own poems.

PDF documents of all readings will be provided. Readings may include: Lorine Niedecker, Tadeusz Różewicz, Tomas Tranströmer, Russell Edson, Georg Trakl, Wanda Coleman, Joanne Kyger, Bob Kaufman, Melvin Dixon, Osama Alomar, Arthur Sze, Miklós Radnóti, Friederike Mayröcker, Zbigniew Herbert, Miroslav Holub, and Lynda Hull.

NB: This new course is a craft class (not a workshop) of guided readings of poems along with generative prompts in response to them. Readings will reflect underrated and overlooked poets of the 20th century. This class will offer challenging readings and writing assignments that work together to increase capacities in both areas. This class will be capped at 15 students and take place six consecutive Thursday evenings on Zoom from April 7th-May 12th .

This craft class will be taught via Zoom. Link will be sent at the time of registration. Please check spam / promotions folders and write to [email protected] if you do not receive the link.

Instructor Sean Singer was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1974. He is the author of Discography (Yale University Press, 2002), winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; Honey & Smoke (Eyewear Publishing, 2015); and Today in the Taxi (forthcoming, Tupelo Press, April 2022); and two chapbooks, Passport (Beard of Bees Press, 2007) and Keep Right on Playing Through the Mirror Over the Water (Beard of Bees Press, 2010).

He has a BA in English with honors from Indiana University, Bloomington (1997), an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis (1999), and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Rutgers-Newark (2013). He is the recipient of an Artist’s Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems appear in many anthologies including A Face to Meet the Faces, Music’s Spell: Poems about Music and Musicians, Jazz Poems, and Callaloo: The Best of Callaloo Poetry. He was guest editor of Locuspoint: New York CityHe has taught creative writing and a variety of interdisciplinary courses at Hunter College, SUNY Binghamton, Northern Arizona University, Barnard College, and Rutgers-Newark. He lives in Ossining, New York.


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April 7
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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