Poetics as Cosmology/LARFP
(Intro to Spontaneous Composition)
A five week online (Zoom) workshop for people who have some spontaneous poetry composition experience & want to go deep. Join Cascadia Poetics Lab and Poetry Postcard Fest Co-Founder Paul E Nelson in a lively course designed to help you tap into deeper levels of knowing that can begin inform your non-writing life & reduce reliance on editing. Some theory to understand the poetics of 20th/21st c approaches to spontaneous composition (see below) some writing exercises, discussion and between class homework. The work of Charles Olson, Denise Levertov, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Nate Mackey, Robert Duncan, Robin Blaser and others may be discussed along with concepts such as seriality, & investigative poetics & how to write more by getting the most out of first drafts.
The course being offered in March 2023 will focus on the second 60 pages of Brenda Hillman’s new book In a Few Minutes Before Later.
All times PACIFIC.
What timely alchemy is this? Poetics as Cosmology with readings from Brenda Hillman’s In a Few Minutes Before Later got me writing again. For five weeks, I’ve been breathing in from an open field and exhaling without the usual constrictions of thought and form. Paul Nelson throws the raw materials in a pot: a group of new and seasoned writers, all things organic and serial, and then stirs in various prompts and excitements. There’s a whole lot of heart, mind, and soul scholarship on offer here. Paul is the real deal.
– Lorin Medley
Thursdays, 4-6pm PST, March 2, (NO MARCH due to AWP!), 16, 23 & 30, and April 6, 2023, MIDDLE BRENDA.
Or SUNDAYS for LARFP Middle Brenda, Feb 26, March 5, 12, 19 & 26:LARFP MIDDLE BRENDA
WEEK ONE, SUNDAY FEB 26 & THURS March 2 COURSE MATERIALS, LARFP & Poetics as Cosmology workshops:
READ: From page 62 to page 73 in the book In A Few Minutes Before Later and come with a favorite line, stanza or poem to discuss from that section.
READ: Ming Smith’s Poetic Blur
LISTEN: Jerome Rothenberg 2001 Interview
LISTEN: 2nd NY Poem
WEEK TWO, SUNDAY MAR 5 & THURS March 16 COURSE MATERIALS, LARFP & Poetics as Cosmology workshops:
READ: From page 74 to page 87 in the book In A Few Minutes Before Later and come with a favorite line, stanza or poem to discuss from that section.
LISTEN: Shuri Kido Interview
This is the playlist I created the same day I did the 2nd Day Song exercise, 18-FEB-2023. The Duncan quote we discussed on Sunday, FEB 26, was: “…every present activity in the poem redistributes future as well as past events.” Think of the shamanic implications of this statement and how you can use this to your advantage.
What would you answer to those 25 questions? Could you copy the questions, paste them into a document and answer them? Some of them?
WEEK THREE, SUNDAY MAR 12 & THURS March 23 COURSE MATERIALS, LARFP & Poetics as Cosmology workshops:
READ: From page 88 to page 102 in the book In A Few Minutes Before Later and come with a favorite line, stanza or poem to discuss from that section of the book.
READ: Pablo Neruda’s Death
WRITE: Map of Influences
This will be a work in progress. Don’t worry about writing this in one take. As Brenda said in response to Tim’s question, this is an evolving map, like all maps.
WEEK FOUR, SUNDAY MAR 19 & THURS March 30 COURSE MATERIALS, LARFP & Poetics as Cosmology workshops:
READ: From page 103 to page 112 in the book In A Few Minutes Before Later and come with a favorite line, stanza or poem to discuss from that section of the book.
READ: Retreat in Rodanthe
Articles like this one offer poets a chance to write a poem about this, or to begin to notice how climate breakage, as Ann Graham Walker calls it, is affecting our world. Is there something similar in your neighborhood? Bioregion? “Poets are people who notice what they notice” said Allen Ginsberg. Gary Snyder says the short definition of bioregionalism is: “Stay put, watch what happens.”
READ: Introduction to Postmodern American Poetry
KEEP LISTENING to WAYNE please:
A note on the last exercise. The Map of Influences is an opportunity to go deeply with reverence into your own sacred sources of life and creativity. As my Soto Zen teacher was chanting this morning each name in the lineage of his line, I felt that your own map of influences could be like that, a chance for you to recognize and honor all the entities and gestures in the past that make you unique. Please consider creating such a document.
WRITE: Dear Brenda Letter
WEEK FIVE, Sunday, March 26 and Thursday, April 6 COURSE MATERIALS, LARFP & Poetics as Cosmology Workshops
READ: From page 113 to page 123 in the book In A Few Minutes Before Later and come with a favorite line, stanza or poem to discuss from that section of the book.
LISTEN: Ralph Towner’s new album At First Light:
READ: Alice Notley on getting things to come easily
READ: David McCloskey: Life of Place as Whole
LISTEN: Podcast with Alice Notley
READ: Rebecca Solnit: What if climate change meant not doom but abundance
* * *
Workshop participants, it’d be helpful if you were familiar with these essays:
SOME NOTES ON ORGANIC FORM by Denise Levertov
PROJECTIVE VERSE by Charles Olson
INTRODUCTION TO THE WEDGE by William Carlos Williams
THE OBFUSCATED POEM by Bernadette Mayer
ON THELONIOUSISM by Wanda Coleman
Creativity and the Fully Developed Bard by Ed Sanders
Investigative Poetry by Ed Sanders
CREATIVE WRITING LIFE tips by Anne Waldman
OPPOSITIONAL POETICS by Anne Waldman
Writing or ReWriting by Paul E Nelson
Post Coyote Poetry by Andrew Schelling
Mind Writing Slogans collected by Allen Ginsberg