NB: This class will be taught in person at HVWC in the Philipse Manor Train Station in Sleepy Hollow, NY. It is capped at 10 students. All must show proof of vaccination before attending the class. Please read our course policies page before registering for any class.
How do we write poems based on our memories if memory itself is so malleable and unreliable? Is it okay to change the details or combine memories? How can we use our memories to enhance our work? In this class we’ll talk about the different ways we remember according to our senses (visually, emotionally, etc) and read poems from a selection of contemporary poets that play with memory as a sometimes problematic road to the truth. Ahead of the class, please think about memories that can serve as a springboard for your poems: not just actions and landscapes, but specific impressions of sights, sounds, or words. At the end of the class, participants will have new drafts for poems, ideas for future work, and tips for revision grounded in both memory and truth.
Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Refusenik (2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), all with YesYes Books, and the coeditor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton is forthcoming from University of Texas Press in 2022.
Photo Credit; Ada Donnelly