Beyond the Expected Poem
A “successful” poem or series of poems sometimes traps us into repeating the formula. How do we keep our poetry practice vital? If writing is inquiry, where do we look for unexpected questions that will enrich our poems? In this generative workshop, writers will set aside their comfortable habits and try new tools of inquiry, bend their forms and usual approaches to writing, and engage in unexpected “collaborations.” Our days will include writing exercises and prompts, discussion of excerpts from essays on poetics, and inspiration from the natural world. We will read a diverse range of poems as inspiration and with an eye on their architecture and method. As we share drafts and plan revisions, we will try to move beyond intention by following the energy of the image(s) and the detours of language. Participants should leave the workshop with a group of new poem drafts and a “bank” of ideas for further writing.
Kimberly Blaeser, past Wisconsin Poet Laureate and founding director of In-Na-Po, Indigenous Nations Poets, is the author of five poetry collections including Copper Yearning, Apprenticed to Justice, and Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance. An enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, she is an Anishinaabe activist and environmentalist. Blaeser is a Professor at UW–Milwaukee and MFA faculty member for the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Her photographs, picto-poems, and ekphrastic pieces have appeared in exhibits such as “Ancient Light,” “Visualizing Sovereignty,” and “Nomorestolensisters.” Additional information is available here: http://kblaeser.org