Seeing Things 12

Seeing Things 12

“Poets are made of poems from a past that engages them, that embed themselves in whole or in part in their imaginations. Some stick as phrases, others as misremembered lines….There is a tingling in the nerves. A poem starts to happen.” So wrote Michael Schmidt in his massive, 900-page Lives of the Poets.

This fall, the harvest season, we will reap our produce from what poetry has seeded in the fertile soils of our memories and imaginations. Let’s remind ourselves again that poetry brings out of nothing that which is and is not, ripened in our own way of seeing and saying.

We will offer weekly a new poem or revision for the group to respond to with comments that encourage revision. We will also participate as critical readers to further each other’s work. We will study poems that may (as Schmidt says) “embed themselves” in our image-making powers. We will also consider reading to unlearn our habitual “poet-voice” and unlock the poem’s voice.

Robert Bensen has directed the Seeing Things poetry workshop since 2019. His poetry has been published in six collections, including Before (Five Oaks Press) and Orenoque, Wetumka (Bright Hill Press). What Lightning Spoke: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming from Bright Hill. Along with non-fiction and literary essays, his poetry has appeared in AGNI, Akwe:kon, Antioch Review, Berfrois, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, Jamaica Journal, La presa, Native Realities, The Paris Review, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Wales, River Styx, Yankee Magazine, and elsewhere. He has edited anthologies of Native American and Caribbean literature and authored American Indian and Aboriginal Canadian Childhood Studies (Oxford University Press). His writing won a poetry fellowship from the NEA, research fellowships from the NEH and the Newberry Library, a shared Eric Hoffer Award, poetry awards from Harvard University, the New York State Council on the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, the Robert Penn Warren Award. His first book was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award (Academy of American Poets) and the Emily Dickinson Prize (Poetry Foundation). He is Professor Emeritus at Hartwick College, where he directed the writing programs for 39 years. He also taught at the University of Illinois, Parkland College (Champaign, Illinois) and SUNY Oneonta. He is the founding director of Woodland Arts Editions (Oneonta NY).

This virtual workshop runs every Monday for 10 sessions from 7 – 9 PM

Fee: $350
EMAIL to confirm seat availability and register.

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