University of Iowa

Revisionist Singing--Walking Your Poems through the Ages

Weekend June 22 to June 23 2019

In Exercises in Style, Raymond Queneau re-imagines one brief narrative in 99 different versions. We won’t get that obsessive in our weekend together, but we will read a number of poets from different “schools” and carefully listen to different modes of expression that can help us re-work our own poems. How might Romantic, Modernist, Confessional, Objectivist, New York School, and Oulipo voices help us to see our subjects and our language differently? Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with these various schools of expression—just know that we’ll use a playful variety of syntactical, musical, and rhetorical strategies to revise our poems, trusting our eyes and ears to take in and learn from what others have done over time. Lively discussions of individual poems and major poetic movements, along with liberating and exploratory exercises, will inspire us to revisit our own work. Plan on bringing three lyric poems of your own with you that you’d like to re-envision in multiple ways.