This course is a six-week immersion into the letters and correspondence of poets and writers, to discover and examine correspondence as an environment through which writers have developed and sharpened their work, their minds, and their lives. We will explore the value of correspondence in developing foundational poetic, aesthetic, and philosophical ideas; strengthening the poetic faculties of observation, argument, and revelation; and maintaining devoted relationships to friends, contemporaries, and the world. We will read letters in relation to poems, looking at how poets have incorporated correspondence into their work. We will WRITE, emerging with a body of work consisting of serial letters, postcards, emails, epistolary poems and correspondence with the living and the dead. And we will READ: Shelley, Keats, Dickinson, Hopkins, Van Gogh, Rilke, Virginia Woolf, William Carlos Williams, Rene Char, Paul Celan, Etel Adnan, Denise Levertov, Jack Spicer, and more.
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