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God of Boat & Mouth & Ear: Poetry in Love with the Ordinary

God of Boat & Mouth & Ear: Poetry in Love with the Ordinary


A trope of poetry is that we poets must be transcendentally wise, ascending the mountain to shout our discoveries down at our listeners (all while in front of a blazing sunset, of course.) But what if our simple, complex lives are enough? In his poem "Ode with Interruptions," Rick Barot writes, "I used to think that to write poems, to make art, / meant trying to transcend the prosaic elements / of the self, to arrive at some essential plane, where / poems were supposed to succeed. I was wrong." In this workshop, instead of ascending some dramatic mountain, we'll dive into the ordinary objects, concerns and characters of our everyday lives. Guided by Ross Gay, Marie Howe, Aracelis Girmay and Jean Valentine (among others), we'll use forms such as the ode, ghazal and the epistolary poem to unfold the tremendous wisdom and presence available nowhere else but here—with the coffee cup, the bills, the rain—right here, wherever we are, right now.

Workshop Details

  • Professor: Shira Erlichman
  • Dates: February 19–March 25, 2020 (March 4 off)
  • Time: Wednesdays, 6:30–9:30 PM
  • Location: Boerum Hill (near Atlantic Ave/Barclays Ctr 2/3/4/5/B/D/N/Q/R)
  • Cost: $345
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, FEBRUARY 16
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off by SUN, FEB 2