Cascadia Poetics LAB logo


Poetics as Cosmology Workshop (Week 5)

How is a stance toward writing poetry a model for living one’s life? How can the act of writing spontaneously deepen one’s intuition/guidance/connection to one’s more noble self? In six weeks we’ll investigate several post-WWII stances toward spontaneous composition, read essays, poems, engage in writing exercises, discussion and have related outside-of-class activities suggested to deepen one’s relation to this stance.

Ideally participants would read materials in advance of the regular session and come ready to discuss.

Week Five, October 31-November 1, 2020

Questions, comments, criticisms, rebuttals.

Recommended reading:

Anne Waldman on Counterpoetics and Oppositional Action.

Anne Waldman – Oppositional Poetics 1:59 (audio from 2002 interview.)

Fred Moten – The Undercommons (See: THIS and THIS.) If you are inspired, the pdf for the book The Undercommons is here.

Your humble narrator when he was young(er) reading some American Sentences and other poems at Subtext:

Fred Wah – Intro to: Music at the Heart of Thinking

This on the recently-departed Diane di Prima is worth reading. (Forgive the typo that would have the LSD guru being identified with a much-vilified cow in Chicago.)

Try also:

Discuss writer’s date, share poems.

Writing exercise: Erasure poem. Here is the link to MY workshop exercise handout. Also see:THIS and THIS and THIS. Maybe THIS too. 

Homework to be done AFTER week FIVE and BEFORE week SIX:

Write down sixteen words that relate to your own personal mythology that are SMELL-oriented. Do not use abstractions and use the most specific term. Instead of fabric, perhaps it’s FLANNEL or SILK. Do make this exercise a meditation.

Write at least three Haibun. You could write this after your Artist’s Date or any kind of trip outside the house these days. Try to keep the haiku part haiku length. If you like the Berrigan Collage Sonnets, or the COVER POEM, go with either of those.

Take yourself on an ARTIST’S DATE, going solo, to a cultural event (if possible) or watch an art film or live JAZZ CONCERT online (the is streaming) OR go to do a health experience you have never done, or have not done in a while, such as Community Acupuncture, Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, Reiki, or go to a Tarot Card reader, psychic, something of that nature. You can do a reading for yourself at Try the Runes, my go-to divination. Maybe look at a video from the Cascadia Poetry Fest on Youtube. You could listen to my Spotify playlist “Not Technically Blues.” You can write a poem about the experience if so inclined or use the playlist as background to write. Or, as mentioned in the Saturday Week 3 workshop, try Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington.