Queer Optimism & Affective Poetry

Prominent poets and scholars investigate—and redefine—optimism as a creative alternative to long-held themes of melancholy, shame and the death drive in writing and interpreting poetry, particularly in the work of gay poets.

Poetic Process & Inspiration: Jean Valentine & Brian Teare

National Book Award–winning poet Jean Valentine shares the stage with former student and acclaimed poet Brian Teare for a reading and conversation about the process of writing poems and inspiration.

Lost & Found: The H.D. Book by Robert Duncan

Poets and scholars revisit The H.D. Book, published in its entirety for the first time this year. In this monumental study, San Francisco Renaissance poet Robert Duncan (1919–1988) meditates on the roots of modernism and its manifestation in the poetry of H.D., William Carlos Williams, Edith Sitwell and others.

A Poet’s Prose: The Poetic Vision of Zbigniew Herbert

Renowned poets provide insight into the poetry of Polish master Zbigniew Herbert (1924–1998) and discuss his witty, probing essays on travel, classical literature and visual art.

Introduction to the Language of the Qur’an

Duke University professor Bruce Lawrence offers an introduction to the poetic style and aural beauty of the Qur’an and discusses the challenge of translating archaic Arabic into modern-day English.

The Soul’s Springtime: The Poetry of Georg Trakl

A World War I medical officer and brilliant poet whose work attracted the patronage of Wittgenstein, Georg Trakl (1887–1914) and his sinister, imagistic poems are taken up by three American poets.

What the Chapbook Means to Me

Part of the Annual Chapbook Festival, Wednesday, March 2–Saturday, March 5

Visual artist and poet Jen Bervin and Ugly Duckling Presse editor and poet Anna Moschovakis discuss the way the chapbook has shaped their work, sharing highlights from their own collections and the Poets House archive.

The Language of Conservation at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference

Poets House @ the 2011 AWP Conference in Washington, DC

This poetry reading celebrates the Language of Conservation, a nationwide Poets House program aimed at deepening awareness of the environment.

Admission free for registered AWP Conference participants. For details, visit www.awpwriter.org

The Transcendental Thread in American Poetry

Poet and editor Daniela Gioseffi traces transcendentalist themes in American poetry, from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson to Langston Hughes, June Jordan and Mary Oliver.

The Grand Piano: A Collective Autobiography

This afternoon features a group presentation by contributors to The Grand Piano, a ten-book experiment in autobiography by ten writers affiliated with Language Poetry in San Francisco. A panel discussion moderated by Catherine Taylor follows.

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