How to get out of the way, invite the imagination, and surprise yourself. Our workshop will be looking for ways to invite a power that won’t be commanded, to improve our poetic luck, change our eyes, go from sight to insight. We’ll do close readings of each other’s poems, taking the poems on their own terms, and asking what strategies and techniques help us see what we didn’t already know. The workshop is for people, like me, addicted to an art of play and discovery whose outcome is ultimately (and luckily) beyond our control. Participants are asked to send one favorite poem by someone else, and 4 poems of your own in advance, looking especially for poems that surprised you.
ELEANOR WILNER has published seven books of poems, most recently Tourist in Hell (2010, University of Chicago Press); The Girl with Bees in Her Hair and Reversing the Spell; New & Collected Poems (Copper Canyon). Her publications include a translation of Euripides’ Medea, and a book on visionary imagination, Gathering the Winds. Her poems appear in over 40 anthologies; her awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Juniper Prize, three Pushcart Prizes, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She has a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, teaches peripatetically at various colleges and universities, and perennially in the MFA Program for Writers, Warren Wilson College.View poet's page