Revision: Opportunity For Discovery And Surprise With Alan Shapiro

alan_shapiroAll writing is revision. And all revision is or ought to be an opportunity for discovery and surprise. To flourish as a poet, you need to cultivate a love for play, a willingness to go against the grain of what you know and like, of everything you’ve maybe learned to do too well. But how do you break habits of composition? How do you follow this or that suggestion without betraying your original impulse? Since I take it as axiomatic that all poems are inexhaustibly revisable, at what point do you say, enough already, and stop fiddling, despite imperfections you can’t eliminate? These are some of the questions we will consider as we examine each other’s work over the course of the week. I will bring examples of work by other poets, but the majority of class time will be focused on the work you submit for class discussion. Bring 4 poems, 17 copies of each, to our first meeting.