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That Serious, Notorious, Public Form: The Contemporary Sonnet with Brian Teare

Jun 11, 2015 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Brian Teare

This class asks the simple question: what is the sonnet today? After centuries of relative stability, the sonnet in English has undergone a lot of changes since Modernism. It has registered almost every formal experiment from the advent of free verse onward: projective verse, collage, homophonic translation, n+7, appropriation, erasure, etc. It has likewise registered almost every philosophical and political development in the last century, from deconstruction to feminism. Along the way, poets have expressed both continued enthusiasm and major doubts about one of poetry’s most recognizable forms. “How serious, notorious, and public,” Bernadette Mayer writes, “to think you could find the solution to a problem or an ending to an observation in one brief moment.” And yet somehow, what Phillis Levin has called “sonnet mind” has persisted, retaining something of its integrity even in the loosest interpretations of the sonnet’s formal properties. Together we’ll explore the sonnet’s recent permutations by reading relevant published examples, writing through some of these new procedures, and inventing and workshopping new ones of our own.

Brian Teare is the author of four full-length books, The Room Where I Was Born, Sight Map, the Lambda-Award-winning Pleasure, and Companion Grasses, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and seven chapbooks. After over a decade of teaching and writing in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s now an Assistant Professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.

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Admission $325 Location Stanley Kunitz Conference Room Sponsored By Poets House


Jun 11, 2015
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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