LIVE via ZOOM: 3pm-5pm (Eastern)
Santayana proposes “the great function of poetry is to repair to the material of experience, seizing hold of the reality of sensation and fancy beneath the surface of conventional ideas, and then out of that living but indefinite material to build new structures, richer, finer, fitter, to the primary tendencies of our nature, truer to the ultimate possibilities of the soul.” Whether one begins with an image or language, how does one allow themselves to extend into the unknown, to write toward discovery and possibility? How does one extend beyond the self? Where—when—does the poetic act begin? And how can elements of craft—image, line breaks, syntax, form—shape your experience on the page? What if one were to approach the space of the poem as a space for assembly, a weir of voices, languages, encounters, knowledge, logics, narrative? How might the poem—and its ultimate and necessary structure—evolve through accretion and erosion? How do we tease out the line? In this workshop, we will read (light) critical texts and poems as the basis for discussing the poem’s possibilities. We will then write to various exercises, together and independently, designed to generate new material, push the poem, and generate a sustainable practice beyond our time together!
Abigail Chabitnoy is the author of In the Current Where Drowning Is Beautiful (forthcoming from Wesleyan in 2022); How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), shortlisted for the 2020 International Griffin Prize for Poetry and winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award; and the linocut illustrated chapbook Converging Lines of Light (Flower Press 2021). Her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, LitHub, and Red Ink, among others. She currently teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts low-residency MFA program and will be joining the faculty at UMass Amherst as assistant professor in the fall. Abigail is a member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak.