James Meetze teaches Poetics of Place
It probably doesn’t need to be said that poetry is all around us. In this intensive, one-day class, we will explore our unique and diverse environment: San Diego’s freeways, beaches, housing developments, chaparral, urban areas, the border, and desert. We will use our interaction with these spaces to craft poems both about and because of our place in them. The local landscape provides unlimited subject matter with which to explore the possibilities of poetry. “Landscape”, however, is not solely inclusive of the physical environment around us, but also social, political, and personal. It is in how we locate ourselves within this place that we discover the poetics of it.
We welcome poems which are lyric, prose, formal, or those that buck tradition altogether, as long as they are evocative of and connected to this city we call home.
We will look at examples of landscape-based poetry and poems that incorporate landscape into their fabric in a more liberal sense, and use these texts as a springboard for our own work. We might ask questions such as “what does light do to language?” or “can a poem be a freeway?” Each participant will submit a poem and participate in a welcoming and constructive workshop critique. You will leave with a better understanding of the poetics of your city and a poem that realizes this understanding.
James Meetze’s book Dayglo was selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and published by Ahsahta Press. He is also the author of I Have Designed This For You (2007), and editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010). The recipient of the 2001 Poet Laureate Award from the University of California, he has taught poetry and creative writing at the University of California, San Diego, California State University, San Marcos, and in the MFA Program at National University. He lives in San Diego with his wife and son.
Catch James Meetze’s reading at The Ink Spot, Friday, March 18, 2011 at 7pm.