Ecopoetics & Your Next Poem: A Weekend Workshop

*Enrollment for this class opens December 6, 2016. SOLD OUT. General registration at this link is closed.

Class Meetings: Three sessions: Saturday, January 28, 10am-Noon and 2-4pm; Sunday, January 29, 1-3pm, in the Poetry Center Alumni Classroom Room 205.

January in Tucson brings many species of birds coming through, and the microseasons of the desert are numerous. Are the thrashers and cactus wrens louder, and are the mockingbirds possessed of mid-western accents? Surely the Catalinas are clearer when there is less mining to the south of town; what is elsewhere known as winter is a time of blossoming and unfolding. Yet, for all the joys of our noticing,  we find ourselves in a time of ecological peril under a new administration, facing political changes that may not bode well for species or land.

In our two-day workshop, we will be thinking about our surroundings, about how reading and writing inventive poetry that challenges our notions of what constitutes the “nature poem” can aid our relationships to the environment. We will start with an optional social gathering on Friday night, and on Saturday and Sunday, we will present new ecological poems, read from an ecopoetics anthololgy, enter notes in our journals, and encounter some of the flora and fauna. As a participant, you will be asked to cross boundaries of what you think nature poetry is. For the first Saturday session, you should bring copies of a new daring poem—one that has yet had no readers; it can be inspired by your reading (reading suggestions will be forthcoming.) We will discuss poetry from a perspective of our own environmental concerns and study the work of poets who have addressed ecological issues in their bioregions, questions of poetic form, ideas of nature and spirit and so on. For the subsequent sessions, you’ll be asked to write new work arising from our discussions.  Please obtain The Arcadia Project (eds. Corey and Waldrep, Ahsahta Press, 2012) and please bring this book to the workshop.