Something in the Air: The Poem as a Said Thing
In his book-length manifesto, Poetry as an Insurgent Act, Lawrence Ferlinghetti claims “the printing press killed poetry.” What he seems to be lamenting—at least, in part—is the privileging of the written word to the detriment of poetry’s musical, or aural, qualities. In this workshop, you will focus on the poem as something intended to be read aloud and listened to. While we will consider such topics as voice, audience, and performance styles, this is not a course on performing. Instead, consider this an invitation to learn to write poems that can live as well in the air as they do on the page.
John Murillo is the author of the poetry collections Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry and Up Jump the Boogie. He is assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University and teaches in the low residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. He lives in Brooklyn.