The Poetics of Reticence: A Reading & Writing Workshop

The Poetics of Reticence: A Reading & Writing Workshop

Investigate the power of blank space in poetry.

* This course will take place on video-conferencing platform ZOOM *

British poet Glyn Maxwell wrote, ‘Poets work with two materials, one’s black and one’s white…[D]on’t make the mistake of thinking the white sheet is nothing. It’s nothing for your novelist, your journalist, your blogger. For those folks it’s a tabula rasa, a giving surface. For a poet it’s half of everything. If you don’t know how to use it, you are writing prose.’

In this course we will pay attention to the power of spaces and silences in poetry. We will read essays by poets such as Louise Glück, Jane Hirshfield, Jean Valentine, Mary Oliver, Adam Kirsch, and others, who discuss how the unsaid is vital to the production of poetic meaning. We will then read poems by some of the poets mentioned above as well as Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, William Shakespeare, Paul Celan, Dan Pagis, and Jessica Greenbaum paying attention to the significance of the gaps between words.

Finally, students will write their own poems always attuned to working with silences that create a forcefield of poetic meaning and power. Students will write from prompts and produce poems that balance the delicate dynamic between the words on the page and the unsaid, reflecting a poetics of reticence.

5 fortnightly sessions on Thursdays, 7–9pm, starts 14 October 2021.

To apply for a concession rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected] Conditions of eligibility are detailed here.

If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]

Image credit: Ambrose Chua

About Eve Grubin View Profile

Eve Grubin is the author of a book of poems, Morning Prayer (Sheep Meadow Press), and a pamphlet, The House of Our First Loving (Rack Press). She is writing a PhD thesis on Emily Dickinson and the Poetics of Reticence. She teaches at NYU in London.

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