Your cart
Active Listening

Active Listening


“If you lose track of your voice as a writer, go back, eavesdrop, write down everything you hear, and that’s it. That’s you listening to the world,” advises playwright Annie Baker. In this workshop, we will tune in to the rich, wild, alarming and beautiful bits of speech we hear every day—on trains, in coffee shops, offices, classrooms, hallways, libraries and parks—and transform this raw material into poems. We’ll treat eavesdropping and dialogue transcription as a form of generative writing, paying attention to what our inevitably selective, subjective listening tells us about what we’re looking for in the voices around us, what we’re asking language to do for us, and what we have to say as poets. If, as John Berger asserts, “[t]o look is an act of choice,” then to listen is a willful action, too—one that will aid us in uncovering and refining our distinct poetic voices. As we experiment with various tactics for weaving overheard and received speech into our drafts, we’ll take cues from poets such as June Jordan, Eileen Myles, Claudia Rankine, Alice Notley, James Tate, Layli Long Soldier and Tonya M. Foster.

Workshop Details

  • Professor: Emily Hunt
  • Dates: November 3-December 1, 2019
  • Time: Sundays, 3-6 PM
  • Location: Greenpoint
  • Cost: $345
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, OCTOBER 27, 2019
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off by SUN, SEPT 8