Researching the Ineffable
“I loafe and invite my soul,” Whitman declares at the start of “Song of Myself,” seeming to confirm the popular image of poets as lazy dreamers. But what if “loafing” is a necessary form of artistic preparation? What if the “soul” is a sensible topic for poetic reflection? In this generative workshop we will consider what constitutes “research” for a poet, methods for combining information with lyrical expression, and how to “invite the soul.”
Please bring a writing sample to the first class.
Campbell McGrath is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Spring Comes to Chicago, Seven Notebooks, XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century, a Finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, and most recently Nouns & Verbs: New and Selected Poems. He has received numerous literary prizes for his work, including the Kingsley Tufts Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives with his family in Miami Beach and teaches at Florida International University.