Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Suggested Readings

Not for you...for me! I met with Greg on Tuesday and I asked him for a list of poets whom he would suggest I read based on his knowledge of my poetry. Here's who he gave me:

Thomas Lux
Gerald Stern
Philip Levine (Not this Pig & They Feed They Lion)
Gerard Manley Hopkins "Spring and Fall"

That's all I need--direction and exposure. I haven't read any of those poets except Hopkins. I want to buy all of each of their books right now.

Greg sent the workshop a sample from Joe Brainard's book length poem "I Remember" and gave the only assignment he said he would give us: write 10 pages worth of I Remembers. I'm on page 8. I actually did this in undergrad workshop with Denise and I included a 3 page I Remember poem in my writing sample that went to schools that wanted a longer sample so that was pretty interesting.

Speaking of Denise, why is Greg really familiar with her work as in having read all of it pretty in-depth? Hearing that just made me feel like I'm in the right place, like it makes sense to go from one person's workshop (hers) to the next (his). I'm not explaining that the way I want to. But the point is...that's cool.

Oh and Thomas Lux (whom Greg suggested I read) was one of Denise's teachers.

It seems like even though these people chose me to be in their program, I still always look for little signs that tell me they were not mistaken. That was a huge sign!

What else? He also suggested that the workshop read Whitman's "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" aloud.

Hart Crane's "Voyages"- can't remember why it was suggested, I just wrote it down.

There was mention of Randall Jerrell who didn't write autobiography (except for The Lost World)and instead used a woman's persona as in "Next Day".

(In the voice of Ricky Ricardo)'ve got some readin' to do!

I'm very excited. Exposure to poets whose work I'm unfamiliar with is exactly the type of guidance I was looking for from an MFA program.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. You have the same sort of list that I have now. A list of four poets who someone we trust believes we should read based on our writing.

And I, like you, am very excited to get copies of these books. To see what it is about these poets that may seem familiar. Or instructing.

Let us know how these books read, for you!

JayTee said...

I was thinking the same thing when I read your blog, Keith.

LHC said...

"It seems like even though these people chose me to be in their program, I still always look for little signs that tell me they were not mistaken."

Amen! Sounds like you're getting some great advice, and taking advantage of it as well.

Raina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raina said...

Check out vt's new media writing lit journal, the new river for denise's poem on a mobius strip. it's pretty cool.

January said...

Thanks for your message on my blog. I appreciate it.

Hart Crane and Phil Levine are excellent choices. Phil was my thesis adviser so I think you'll enjoy his work. Check out "The Simple Truth" and "What Work Is" by Phil.

Vizionheiry said...

Do you still find time to prepare submissions now that you're in an MFA program?

JayTee said...

Actually, vizionheiry,I've been thinking about this a lot. At this point, the answer is no. Thus, the lack of posts on my blog about submitting lol. Time isn't the issue at all, I've got plenty of time. I just don't have enough new poems available to submit right now. I submitted the best poems from my writing sample and they've been accepted.

Right now I'm only focused on writing as much as possible. Once I've done that, submitting is easy. I wrote 6 new poems last month and my productivity is increasing so by the end of the semester I hope to be submitting again.

Also, my poetry is heading in a direction I'm not familiar with so I'm not comfortable with what I'm writing at all right now. That's the part of this that I can attribute to being a new student in an MFA program. I find myself reading my stuff and questioning, "Is this even a poem?" It's early in my program so I'm taking risks and seeing where my writing goes. I don't think much of what I'm writing right now could be considered publishable.

Sorry for the long answer. I really was just thinking about this today!

MonicaJBrown said...

You'll love Levine, and Hart Crane's dark but lovely!

I've been getting some good recommended reading as well; hard work but good times!