What is Mythopoesis?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 6:00pm to Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 8:00pm
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Tuesdays: March 17 - April 7 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Registration for this class opens December 6, 2019. 

Meetings will be in the Poetry Center Alumni Room 205. 

Myths house shared national and cultural narratives and symbols that writers have long mined for material. In the poetry of revisionist mythmaking, poets recast the received plot in order to tell a new story. In this course, we will seek to understand this major mode of cultural critique and encoded expression, mythopoesis, which poets employ to transform culture by changing the stories we tell about ourselves. In four two hour sessions, we’ll discuss samples of poetry written in that mode (for example, Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton, Anne Carson, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Jerome Rothenberg, Nathaniel Mackey, and Eleanor Wilner). We’ll discuss different types of mythopoesis, and consider how poets approach their subjects, address their concerns, and make their poems. Out of our readings, class members will be invited to generate writing that we share each week. This course will be designed to offer a forum for participants to deepen their own generative processes in dialogue with the works we’re reading—and writing—together. The class may include some workshop type feedback if time allows.