This one-week poetry workshop will offer instruction, support, and dialogue in the craft of writing and revising poems. This class is for intermediate to advanced poets that would like to try fundamentally new approaches to subject matter. We are going to adopt a theme of “Gazing In Gazing Out,” which is drawn from Larry Levis’ essay “Some Notes on the Gazer Within.” I often wonder about the public and the private in poetry, perhaps in any art, and whether a healthy artistic impulse must somehow balance or contain both. I would like to know what you think. Are you in the habit of consciously directing your own lyrical energies within and/or without, toward the public or even political as well as the personal? In your own evolving aesthetic, do you think you’d lean one way or another, or can you perhaps imagine doing both? We’ll begin this discussion by reading and responding to Levis’ essay. You’ll be invited also to submit for feedback an unfinished poem that exemplifies either the inward or outward gaze. You’ll then write and submit one new poem of each type and discuss online. At the end of the week, we’ll discuss possibilities for revision in a one-on-one email exchange.
Michael White was educated at the University of Missouri and the University of Utah, where he received his PhD in English and Creative Writing in 1993. His poetry books are The Island, Palma Cathedral (winner of the Colorado Prize), Re-entry (winner of the Vassar Miller Prize), and Vermeer in Hell (winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Editors’ Prize). His memoir, Travels in Vermeer, was longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award. He has published poetry and prose in The Paris Review, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, The Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. White is currently chair of the Department of Creative Writing at UNCW.