Getting Poems Started, Keeping Them Going
Mark Wunderlich’s course will provide you with practical tools for starting poems, building on them, revising them and pushing them to their best possible conclusions. Using letters, directions, prayers, lists, litanies, etc. as a starting point, you will be guided through the entire development process for creating your own personal poems.
In this course, students will complete a series of guided assignments based on different rhetorical forms—letters, directions, prayers, lists, litanies, etc.— and produce multiple drafts of new poems which students will then revise. The intended goal of this course is to provide you with practical tools for starting poems, building on them, revising them and pushing them to their best possible conclusions. This course is appropriate for beginners, though some knowledge of the fundamentals of prosody will be useful.
In addition to your own work, we will read work of contemporary (and not so contemporary) poets whose poems model some of the strategies you will practice during our weeks together. You will be asked to respond to the poems in our group conversations, to each other, and to me.
Mark Wunderlich is the author of four books of poems, the most recent of which is God of Nothingness, forthcoming from Graywolf Press in January 2021. His other books include The Earth Avails, which received the Rilke Prize, Voluntary Servitude, and The Anchorage, which received the Lambda Literary Award. He has received fellowships from the NEA, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and has twice been a fellow at FAWC, where he now serves on the Writing Committee. He has published individual poems in The Nation, The New Republic, Paris Review, Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. He directs the Bennington Writing Seminars graduate writing program, and lives in New York's Hudson Valley.