This seminar will focus on poetry after 1975, mostly from the U.S., but also including some poetry from Canada, the UK, and Europe. This will not be a period or survey course: the seminar will focus on poetry that pushes the envelope on formal and conceptual invention. Think: digital, (para- and post-) conceptual, site-specific, post-NY School, language, sprung lyric, eco-, and performance poetry as well as book art and possibly related work in film, theater, and visual arts. In addition, there will be a few poets visiting the class -- reading and discussing their work with the seminar.
The "creative reading workshop" is less concerned with analysis or explanation of individual poems than with finding ways to intensify the experience of poetry, of the poetic, through a consideration of how the different styles and structures and forms of contemporary poetry can affect the way we see and understand the world. No previous experience with poetry is necessary. More important is a willingness to consider the implausible, to try out alternative ways of thinking, to listen to the way language sounds before trying to figure out what it means, to lose yourself in a flurry of syllables and regain your bearings in dimensions otherwise imagined as out-of-reach.
More information at http://writing.upenn.edu/bernstein/syllabi/262-intro.html