At the Loft: Winter/Spring 2017

The Beautiful Exchange: Deepening the Poetic Experience

1/24/17—4/11/17 |  Tuesday 1:00 – 3:00 pm

“The reader,” claimed Whitman, “will always have his or her part to do, just as much as I have mine.” But what is the part, or role, of the reader? As writers, what can we learn from reading poems and discovering what Edward Hirsch calls “the soul in action”?

In looking closely at a poem we begin to see how its technical accomplishments create our physical, emotional and ecstatic responses to it: to learn about the nature of poetry we must go to the poem. Using How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch, a weekly essay, selection of poems and a weekly writing activity, we will explore the relationships between technique and the “shining body” of the poem, between the poem and the reader, and between the reader and the writer. We will discover what we need to do in order to enter and experience a poem completely, and how we can take what we find there and use it to inform and deepen our own writing while letting the larger issues and concerns of poetry emerge as we do so.

Please obtain How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch. Copy fee of $5.00 for supplemental readings payable to the teaching artist.