We designate those poets with vision who have successfully developed an identifiable style or addressed a topic in their poetry that becomes almost synonymous with their name. For example, poets such as Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, CK Williams, Sharon Olds, Naomi Shihab Nye, Rita Dove and Frank Bidart are all celebrated for their innovative contributions to American poetry. In this workshop, we will read and study a range of poets with vision, identify technical aspects in our own work that could develop into a style, and review the subject matter of our poems that could potentially enhance the conversation of human experience in poetry. This course is open to beginning, intermediate, and advanced writers of poetry, however, those who are working on a book-length collection will most benefit from this course.
Major Jackson is the author of five volumes of poetry, most recently The Absurd Man (2020), and a collection of essays, A Beat Beyond: The Selected Prose of Major Jackson. He is the guest editor of Best American Poetry 2019. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts, Jackson has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Orion Magazine, Paris Review, Ploughshares and Poetry London. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.