“When Money Talks, Nobody Walks”: POEMS ON PLACE IN TIME
A poetry workshop with Cate Marvin
April 26, 2018, 4p-6:00p
Waterville Public Library
It’s my opinion that the image is the primary building block for any good poem. This is because we all see things differently, and as such, we all notice different aspects of our environment. This course asks that students bring poems in which they describe a significant venue in their lives where a dramatic change occurred (whether an argument took pace there, or it was the very last place at which you saw a particular person, etc.).
Writers taking this class are asked to create a poem that follow these specific instructions:
- Give your poem the title of the exact location. It should be a “real” name. Take advantage of the fact that real life is pretty poetic when you come right down to it.
- Pick three identifying objects from this setting that reveal color, light, and/or smell. These objects could be anything from bar stools, to a particular species of plant, to a make of car.
- Close the poem with a statement that is either: 1.) an advertising jingle from a radio or television advertisement from your childhood; or, 2.) a scrap of song lyric from the time during which the situation/setting you’ve built your poem around. While the language should be lifted (and not “yours”), it should operate as closure for the poem, and therefore be a statement that provokes.
- Your poem must be at least 20 lines.
Write this poem before our workshop and print out copies to share with our our class. This workshop will address the strengths and successes of poems written in response to this prompt, with an emphasis on how one creatures singular (signature) details.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.
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Cate Marvin’s first book, World’s Tallest Disaster, was chosen by Robert Pinsky for the 2000 Kathryn A. Morton Prize and published by Sarabande Books in 2001. In 2002, she received the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. She co-edited with poet Michael Dumanis the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006). Her second book of poems, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, for which she received a Whiting Award, was published by Sarabande in 2007. Marvin teaches poetry writing in theStonecoast M.F.A. Program at the University of Southern Maine and is Professor of English at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. In 2009, she co-founded the nonprofit organization VIDA: Women in Literary Arts with poet Erin Belieu. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, her third book of poems, Oracle, was released from W.W. Norton & Co. in March 2015. She is currently a Visiting Professor in creative writing at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.