This course is for anyone who'd like to turn their nostalgia and obsessions into poetry. We will think about how memory works in our daily lives, how it travels through the body and makes its way onto the page. We will talk about duration and time, and how to create them inside a poem. We will study nostalgia, our own and various cultural nostalgia. Relying on the imagination as the ultimate source of truth, we'll aim to bend both memory and time by looking at poets who have done the same: Sharon Olds, Wallace Stevens, Eileen Myles, Rita Dove, Morgan Parker, and many others.
We'll be workshopping your poems and giving close readings. We'll try in class writing exercises and techniques which subvert old patterns and thinking. We'll also have fun with crystals, a dream journal, and various poetic tools used to conjure. Writers will leave with having written and workshopped up to 5 poems, while having acquired an arsenal of strategies for building on their poetic obsessions.
- Approaching memory and nostalgia in new ways
- Learning how to reinvent and build on your poetic obsessions
- Receiving personal and specific action-oriented feedback on your poems
- A one-on-one conference with the instructor to discuss your work, goals, and areas for improvement
Alex Dimitrov is the author of two books of poems, Together and by Ourselves (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), Begging for It (Four Way Books, 2013), and the online chapbook American Boys. He has taught writing at Columbia University, Bennington College, and Rutgers University-New Brunswick. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, and The American Poetry Review. He lives in New York City.
“Dimitrov is a vital new energy in American poetry.”
“Truth-telling, raw, fierce with feeling.”
“Dimitrov can sound at once hip and naive, devoted to the sincerities that other sorts of poets reject or obscure.”
"This is an exhilarating, memorable book. The poems are savage and ferocious...they are sophisticated about everything that has happened in poetry, and extend it. I loved this book."
"Dimitrov's passionate, headlong poems seem to want to carve beneath the surface of gestures, beneath the skin, to the warm and dangerous blood beneath...BEGGING FOR IT is a fierce and memorable debut."