During the Covid-19 health crisis, I spent many an afternoon going for walks, staying 6 feet apart from others who were doing the same thing. I often found myself drawn to walking beside the Charles River near where I live. Somehow the water flowing downstream seemed a reassuring counterbalance to the dangers and fears we’d all been living with. The river has not always been as healthy as it is now, and to be sure there are dangers that can come with any body of water. But my river-walks helped me become more attuned to many other places in my life where water is flowing all around, either literally or metaphorically, sometimes reassuringly and sometimes not.
In our week-long intensive workshop, we’ll focus on generating new poems that in one way or another respond to the waters around us. Our workshop will incorporate discussions of important “water poems” written by other poets, but the main focus of our discussions will be on your work. The goal will be at least four new poems by the end of our week together. At the end of the course, I will send each student a letter and offer offer thoughts about what the student has accomplished in the course and what direction the student might be heading toward in future writing.
For the first day of our course, please be prepared to post a new “water” poem of your own.
LIVE ELEMENT: On the last day of class, students will have the option to participate in a virtual reading, held on Zoom.
Fred Marchant is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Said Not Said (Graywolf Press, 2017). Earlier books include Full Moon Boat, The Looking House, Tipping Point, and House on Water, House in Air. Marchant has co-translated work by several Vietnamese poets, and edited Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford. An emeritus professor of English, he is founding director of the Suffolk University Poetry Center in Boston.