Writing the Political Poem
What makes a poem political, and what makes a political poem good? Is it harder or easier, in the current American political climate to write political poetry? Can poems change anything in the world anyway? What are political poems for? This workshop aims to help you find formats and strategies to write good, effective political poems, working especially where political and personal materials intersect. We’ll read and discuss poems old and contemporary, in English and in translation (readings could include Eleanor Wilner, Nazim Hikmet, Layli Long Soldier, Terrance Hayes, Colette Bryce, EE Cummings, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Jill McDonough, Charles Bernstein, Wislawa Szymborska, Frederick Seidel, Liu Xiaobo). And you will generate (to prompts, for those who want them) at least four new poems—one per week—and receive frank, supportive feedback on all of them.
Daisy Fried’s book of “versions and aversions” of the 19th C. French poet, Charles Baudelaire, will be published by Flood Editions in 2022. She is also the author of three other books of poems: My Brother is Getting Arrested Again, Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, and She Didn’t Mean to Do It. A past Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellow in poetry, she is a member of the faculty of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for writers, and at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she lives.