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The Poetry of Revenge

The Poetry of Revenge


In this world built with the engines of empires, injustice remains incessant and relentless. If accountability, i.e. the cardinal bone of any attempt at justice, is rarely afforded, one must, inevitably, begin to contemplate revenge. It's through revenge that we can attempt to ensure our losses matter in a world that would like to prove otherwise. Of course, in the Western world, we've come to think of revenge as a dangerous game: "an eye for an eye" starts a never ending cycle that multiplies wounds and often perpetuates the original harm. But what if, instead of thinking of revenge as reinflicting and reenacting harm, we begin to expand our view and think of revenge as rescue? Are there ways to consider that the human impulse for revenge is merely a prompt? Can revenge be an opportunity to transform ourselves, to enact change? Can revenge be an occasion for beauty? In this six-week online workshop, we'll use the practice of poetry—and the myriad possibilities it affords—to investigate the idea and practice of revenge. We'll look at poets who have investigated and attempted revenge, and we'll also spend time with other kinds of media, like The Count of Monte Cristo, and perhaps The Avengers movies (the most successful movies of all time that also happen to be, mainly, about revenge). We'll spend time thinking alongside one another and write new work together every week—though we'll be focused more on generation and discovery and less so on critique. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Sunday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink. 

Workshop Details
  • Professor: Bernard Ferguson
  • Dates: November 7–December 12, 2021
  • Time: Sundays, 4–7 PM (ET)
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $395
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, OCT 31, 2021
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, SEPT 12