A conversation and book-signing to celebrate the publication of the retrospective catalog Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited. Moderated by Malaika Adero, Jane Lazarre, Greg Tate, Kimiko Hahn, Amiri Baraka and Talvin Wilks reflect on the breadth of poet Sekou Sundiata’s accomplishments and his influence as artist, activist, educator and bandleader.
Writers from Petrarch to Millay, from Shakespeare to Frost to Hacker have written sonnets about love, loss, philosophy, sex, war, aging, and every other human concern. This is a workshop for anyone who wants to learn about, or refresh his or her knowledge of, one of the most enduring and flexible poetic forms. The class will cover the essentials of meter and rhyme, and read and discuss sonnets from their inception up through present-day practice and experimentation.
Regardless of stylistic differences, Bashō, John Keats, Pablo Neruda, Li Po, William Carlos Williams, Emily Dickinson, and Kay Ryan would all agree on the essential importance of imagery--the poem's power of conveying what the real world looks and feels like as a way of both renewing our experience of the world and getting at the otherwise unsayable.
Emily Dickinson famously said that she knew it was a poem if it knocked the top of her head off. But what if it’s a prose poem? Can something that looks like prose but sounds like poetry have the same impact? The prose poem allows the writer to preserve a poetic diction and proximity to metaphor while stretching out the line and taking on a more direct narrative. It can also achieve a “snapshot” quality, which makes it a form as adventurous in brevity – what’s in focus? what’s lurking half out of sight? – as the essay can be in breadth.