In this day-long generative poetry workshop we will focus on the “elegy” as a form that explores the language of loss and does the “work of mourning” through an interrogation of the past. The aim is to generate seeds for new poems through various line-prompts and exercises scattered between reading, workshop and discussion of poems. One of the oldest forms, Elegy comes from the Greek elegos meaning “funeral lament”. Through a survey of the works of poets ranging from Larry Levis, Milosz, Rilke, to new works from living poets like Jorie Graham, Forrest Gander and Danez Smith, we will look at the form in its modern iteration as poetry of remembrance, retrospection, reconciliation, and ritualization of grief and loss into language.
Rohan Chhetri is a Nepali-Indian poet. He is the author of Slow Startle (Emerging Poets Prize 2015) and a chapbook of poems, Jurassic Desire (Per Diem Poetry Prize 2017). His second book of poems is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2021 (Kundiman Poetry Prize 2018). His poems have appeared in Prelude, Wildness, Rattle, Vinyl, EVENT, Literary Hub, Poetry Society of America, and was recently translated into French for Europe Revue. He has received fellowships from Kundiman, Imprint, and the Norman Mailer Center.