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Wild Things: Object-Oriented Poetics. Poetry Writing with Gilad Jaffe. (in person Session 2 22) is a Course

Wild Things: Object-Oriented Poetics. Poetry Writing with Gilad Jaffe. (in person Session 2 22)


$2,500 Enroll

Full course description

There is a separate application process for this course. If you have not been accepted into the Iowa Young Writers' Studio Summer Residential Program you are not eligible to enroll.

Poetry Writing with Gilad Jaffe. Wild Things: Object-Oriented Poetics

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand” — William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

What if we gave a frog the same attention that we give to our dreams? A broken sandal? The Statue of Liberty? Or to what Timothy Morton calls ‘hyperobjects’ — the more amorphous entities in life, like music, diseases, and histories? What about the Internet? Or the light? How do we manage to hold water in our hands, or carry our favorite paintings around with us in our bones? Can a human really empathize with a mouse or a TV? A gingko tree? A doorframe? Language itself? In this course we’ll figure out how writing into things—rather than about them—can help fortify and open up our practices as poets. Together through daily writing experiments, readings, games, and field trips about town, we’ll focus on accessing the How of What: the poetics of stuff, the unapparent nature of everyday items, and the vastly intricate inner networks of the objects all around us. Being among things (which are all, in essence, just doing their thing) is effectively what CD Wright refers to as “doing poetry.” From Lao Tzu to Bjork, Robert Burns, Emily Dickinson, Jorge Luis Borges, John Berryman, Glenn Ligon, Frank O’Hara, Denise Levertov, Eileen Myles, Arthur Sze, Natalie Diaz, Shane McCrae, Matthea Harvey and many others, the texts we will spend our time with, including your own, will show us how playing with form, sound, imagery, syntax, ekphrasis, and the variety of other textures we have at our disposal can bring us so much closer to “the thing.” Poetry can’t blossom in a vacuum, so we will also examine a range of other art forms that seek to broaden our understanding of what a poem can be. By the close of your time here in Iowa City, you may not merge completely with the banana on your kitchen counter. But with the help of our new, uncontrollable community of poets, I bet you’ll find it endlessly more inspiring.

Gilad Jaffe is an Iowa Arts Fellow and MFA candidate in poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Originally from New York City, he holds a BA in Written Arts from Bard College where he was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize, and has served on staff with the John Cage Trust, Conjunctions, and AmeriCorps at the Providence Children's Museum. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Colorado Review, Cream City Review, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Iowa Review, [PANK], Salt Hill, and TriQuarterly, among others. Gilad has received generous support from the Abrons Arts Center, PEN America, and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.




The fee for this course, which includes the fee for the 2-week session of the Summer Residential Program, is $2,500. Payment in full is required to enroll in the course.


Note: Your credit card payment will be processed by an external provider and will appear on your credit card statement as “UI Writing—Magid Center."


Cancellation Policy: If you cancel or withdraw before June 1, 2022 a $100 cancellation fee will be deducted from your refund. Thereafter no refunds are available. 




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