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American Poetry: Theory and Practice with Tony Hoagland
A collaboration between The Houston Seminar and Inprint.
“Once, in the Museum of Modern Art, I saw a sculpture
that I liked: a big, black cast-iron frying pan with six handles
around its circumference. I think poetry is like that frying pan.
You can grab it and pick it up from almost any side.”
– Tony Hoagland.
This seminar will be a combination of literary studies and hands-on poetic application. Each week we will approach the reality of American poetry from a different direction, and, using different examples and terminologies, we will try to figure it out.
From these plentiful, amusing, powerful, robust, and eccentric models—and a smattering of history—we will gain insight into the sources of poetic charisma. In the latter part of each class, Tony will lead participants in writing exercises and prompts designed to cultivate and practice the particular skills and techniques of the week’s lessons.
This is not a seminar for poets or experts only! Everyone is welcome, and it is guaranteed that all who come will learn to understand and enjoy twentieth-century contemporary poetry and will be thoroughly entertained. If you would like an informal, non-threatening opportunity to stretch your writing muscles, this could be for you.
Tony Hoagland teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston and at Warren Wilson College. His most recent book is Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (Graywolf Press, 2010), and his collection of poems, What Narcissism Means to Me (Graywolf Press, 2003), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the O. B. Hardison Prize for Poetry and Teaching from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the 2005 Mark Twain Award of the Poetry Foundation in recognition of his contribution to humor in American poetry, and many others. He has also received many prestigious fellowships and grants.