For the first three-hour session, we’ll discuss “Feeling” – i.e. tone, emotion, etc. — in poems, how poets achieve that and poems become emotionally complex. In the next session, we’ll discuss “Thinking,” the idea of the felt-thought, the notion that, in free verse, a poem might create an interior sort of mindscape that readers experience as the movement of thought. The final session would be about “Telling”: That is, how poems assert meaning and ideas, how poems position themselves politically, etc. In each class, we’ll spend the last hour looking at poems by students, with the day’s theme especially in mind. By the end, each student will have workshopped one poem — and we’ll have spent a lot of time talking about poetry in general.
Kevin Prufer is the author of seven books of poetry and the editor of numerous anthologies, the most recent of which are How He Loved Them (Four Way Books, 2018), Churches (Four Way Books, 2014), In a Beautiful Country (Four Way Books, 2011), National Anthem (Four Way Books, 2008), New European Poets (Graywolf Press, 2008; w/ Wayne Miller), Literary Publishing in the 21st Century (Milkweed Editions, 2016; w/ Wayne Miller & Travis Kurowski), and Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries (Graywolf Press, 2017; w/Martha Collins). Prufer is also Editor-at-Large of Pleiades: Literature in Context, Co-Curator of the Unsung Masters Series, and Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston and the low-residency MFA at Lesley University.
Among Prufer’s awards and honors are four Pushcart prizes and multiple Best American Poetry selections, numerous awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Prairie Schooner/Strousse Award, two William Rockhill Nelson awards, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation.