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Epic Voices: The Contemporary Long Poem and Cultural Memory with Michael Leong
Dec 1, 2018 | 3:00 pm
In The Dream Songs, John Berryman remarks, “The only happy people in the world / are those who do not have to write long poems: / muck, administration, toil.” Though Berryman suggests that composing a long poem will necessarily mire the writer in an excess of paperwork, poet Michael Leong considers the significant advantages of the form. Taking the perspectives of both the creative writer and the critical reader, Leong examines how writers of contemporary long poems—such as Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Robin Coste Lewis—draw on paperwork and the administration of documentation to make claims on our cultural memories. Assistant Professor of English at the University at Albany, SUNY, Leong works at the intersections of poetry writing, ethnic American literature, and legacies of the historical avant-garde. His most recent poetry book is Words on Edge (2018).