with Scott Cairns
Scott Cairns has been a friend of the Glen Workshop and Image journal for years. He is the author of the poetry collections Idiot Psalms and Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems, the spiritual memoir Short Trip to the Edge, the translations/adaptations Endless Life: Poems of the Mystics, among many other works. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, The New Republic, Image, Spiritus, and many others. He received his PhD from the University of Utah and has taught at numerous universities including University of North Texas, Old Dominion University, and the University of Missouri. He now serves as director of Seattle Pacific University’s low-residency MFA in creative writing. He was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2006, and Image’s Denise Levertov Award in 2014.
Having spent some time together in class working to distinguish between poetry, fiction, exposition, and drama, we’ll also work together to articulate what it is about a poem that makes it a poem. That is, we’ll kick around a number of ideas about poetry that sometimes leads to other sorts of texts—verse memoir, verse anecdote, verse gripe—and then take a very close look at certain texts that seem to do more than remember, report, or complain. Then comes the important part: we will make and remake and tweak our own texts into being actual poems, poems that we and others might enjoy reading, and—perhaps this is a distinguishing criterion for actual poetry—enjoy re-reading. Show up ready to read, ready to write, and ready to enjoy.
By July 1, each poet should send in two or three poems, double-spaced in 12-point font, with standard margins, in .doc or .docx format. You will be sent your classmates’ poetry to print, read in advance, critique with written comments, and bring with you to the workshop for discussion.
Your registration includes all reading materials for this course.
Apply for a scholarship to Scott Cairns’s class here.