(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 April/May 2023 will focus on the last 60 pages of Brenda Hillman’s new book In a Few Minutes Before Later.
Sundays for current, or invited LARFP poets: April 23 & 30, May 7, 14 & 21, 4-6pm.
Thursdays, April 27, May 4, May 18, May 25 & June 1. (We skip May 11!) All times PACIFIC.
WEEK ONE, Sunday, April 23 and Thursday, April 27 COURSE MATERIALS, LARFP & Poetics as Cosmology Workshops
READ: From page 124 to page 134 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: (From Carlton Johnson) The Problem With English
READ: (From Sally Hedges-Blanquez) Short Conversations with Poets: Brenda Hillman
WRITE: Brenda/Alice Trance Poem
WEEK TWO, Sunday, April 30 and Thursday, May 4 COURSE MATERIALS, LARFP & Poetics as Cosmology The End of a Few Minutes… Workshops
READ: From page 135 to page 146 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: DIANE DI PRIMA’S OCCULT LIBRARY After reading this essay, consider picking out a book from DdP’s library and ordering it from Abebooks, or getting it at a local occult bookstore, and use it to provide epigraphs for your postcard fest poems, or read the book and write a poem based on your notes from the book as well as any notions those notes stir in you. A model is Joanne Kyger’s chapbook: Some Sketches From the Life of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. (You may remember the November 2022 writing exercise that included Kyger and Ed Sanders.)
READ: California’s Super Bloom
LISTEN: Hoa Nguyen interviews CA Conrad on Crystals, Crows, and Cannibalizing Poems
WRITE: Brenda-ized City Sonnet
Extra Credit Writing Suggestion: Re-read last week’s essay The Problem With English and write a poem specifically to the notion (agreeing or not) that:
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WEEK THREE, Sunday, May 7 and Thursday, May 18 COURSE MATERIALS, The End of a Few Minutes Before Later Workshop
READ: From page 147 to page 157 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. i pack the car while fire workers try to decide / which among them, whose worlds to save.
READ: Key Essay: Inger Christensen, “The Seven Within The Die.”
LISTEN: Rescue and Revival of a Seattle Legend: Carletta Carrington Wilson Interprets James Washington Jr. Is there a local artist (most likely BIPOC, female or queer) whose work should have significantly more recognition? If yes, come with a note during your check-in, or better, write a one page poem about said artist. (I’ll start w/ this.)
READ: Hoa Nguyen on CA Conrad (short essay)
WATCH: Alan Watts on Work/Play
WRITE: (Week 3) Anthropocene Evacuation List Poem
WEEK FOUR, Sunday, May 14 and Thursday, May 25 COURSE MATERIALS, The End of a Few Minutes Before Later Workshop
READ: From page 158 to page 169 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: Peter Culley’s Hammertown
WEEK FIVE, Sunday, May 21 and Thursday, June 1 COURSE MATERIALS, The End of a Few Minutes Before Later Workshop
READ: From page 170 to page 182 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: Epistolary Poetry by Sam Hamill
READ: CLIMATE RIGHTS OF NATURE
LISTEN: Richard Atleo Interview
READ/LISTEN: Sam @ 80
WRITE: Week 5 One Last Epistle to Ms. Hillman
PREPARE TO WRITE A DAY SONG on SEPTEMBER 8. See Day Song as Vision Quest
Workshop participants, it’d be helpful if you were familiar with these essays:
A FEW DONT’S BY AN IMAGISTE (Ezra Pound)
THE POEM AS A FIELD OF ACTION – WCW circa UW 1948
SOME NOTES ON ORGANIC FORM by Denise Levertov
PROJECTIVE VERSE by Charles Olson
PERSONISM: A Manifesto by Frank O’Hara
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
Introduction to SPLAY ANTHEM by Nate Mackey