Lyric Ecology: A Poetry Workshop
This week’s workshop is about nature poetry. What is nature? A tree, a stone, a landscape? Is the city part of nature? Is language? What we do intend when we use natural elements in our poems? All week we’ll talk about the lyric as we explore the many ways a poem is “about” nature. To help, we’ll read both classic and contemporary poems, and we’ll try out options from “pure” descriptive lyrics to more political or socially engaged narratives. We’ll look at old forms (like the georgic and pastoral) but also new possibilities such as hybrid texts, erasures, documentary poems, and the eco-poem. There’s more than one way to write a nature poem.
You’re welcome to bring a couple of your in-progress nature poems but the focus this week will be to generate new poems during our time together, based on specific prompts and assignments I’ll make day by day. This workshop is open to poets of any level of experience.
David Baker’s nineteen books include Whale Fall: Poems (W. W. Norton, 2022), Swift: New and Selected Poems, and Show Me Your Environment: Essays on Poetry, Poets, and Poems. His poetry and prose have appeared in APR, New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, and elsewhere. Baker has received prizes and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, and the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. He lives in Granville, Ohio.