Instructor: Machado | M 4:40 PM 7:30 PM
This seminar will read a variety of longform poems published in the US (some in translation) in the last hundred years or so. Rather than proceeding chronologically or with comprehensive design, we’ll focus on particular texts, attending carefully to their poetics as well as to the sociohistorical contexts in which they emerged. What political and aesthetic imperatives inaugurate longform writing? And what shapes does it take? How might we—provisionally—taxonomize long poems, a term I use capaciously to include epics, verse plays, serial poems, sonnet sequences, and all manner of outliers? Some poets we’ll likely read include Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Celan, Myung Mi Kim, Nathaniel Mackey, Alice Notley, Sawako Nakayasu, George Oppen, Ed Roberson, and Raúl Zurita, among others. This course welcomes the writing of long poems and insightful prose commentary, both. Indeed, both may be required all semester long.