ONLINE CLASS: Winter Poetry Circle Conversation Pieces (2200)

Two Tuesdays: January 11 and 18 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST

$80 Per Person (10% off for members)


Join us this winter as we continue our conversation about Conversation Pieces, poems from a volume of the same name (Kurt Brown and Harold Schechter, editors, 2007) that speak to each other across cultures and centuries. These poems “answer, argue with, update, elaborate upon, mock, interrogate or pay tribute to other poems.” Many of these replies to the original poems cast surprising new light on their antecedents. As T.S. Eliot wrote in his famous essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, a major way for poetry to succeed is in response to its own history, and this course will examine and then unpick some of these conversations. Many of the poems we’ll read are wry; many are argumentative; many flip the tables on the original. We’re used to thinking of lyric poetry as an intimate conversation between writer and reader, but a poem is also a public contribution to an ongoing conversation. But most of all, these conversations are great fun, and it is enormously engaging to read them in tandem or in triplets.

We’ll read poems by W.H. Auden, Billy Collins, Dylan Thomas, Cesar Vallejo, Philip Larkin, Sharon Olds, Matthew Arnold and Anthony Hecht, among others. Some of these are deadly serious, and some are screamingly funny. Some buttress the original poem and many poke holes and argue. I can think of noting more delicious than to be in conversation about poetic conversations during a pandemic that has kept us apart. Consider this a literary cocktail party!

Two Tuesdays: January 11 and 18 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST

Instrucutor will provide poems for discussion and send a PDF to registrants.

Gigi Bradford is the former Literature Director of the National Endowment for the Arts and the present Chair of the Folger Shakespeare Library Poetry Board. She has been teaching the Poetry Circle at Politics and Prose since 2006.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

SKU: 9787000009783
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