Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? Right? In this course, we’ll investigate the practices of poetic imitation and invective, and everything in between. We’ll consider the role imitation plays in the development and ongoing practices of poets, and how imitation may be used for other means besides homage. We’ll consider the ways in which poetic allusion and appropriation serve contemporary poetry, and establish the ways in which poetic lineages and literary traditions ground our sensibilities while also limiting us or embodying ideologies we reject. Participants will be asked to write a poem a week, while also participating in discussions about selected works provided by the instructor. We’ll begin with the history of literary homage and invective, traveling all the way back to classical writers, and then arrive at our contemporary peers. This class investigates literary conversation while also participating in in-depth conversation about our own works and the works of others.
Emilia Phillips (she/her/hers) is the author of three poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, most recently Empty Clip (2018), and four chapbooks, including Hemlock (Diode Editions, 2019). Winner of a 2019 Pushcart Prize, Phillips’s poems, lyric memoirs, and poetry reviews appear widely in literary publications including Agni, American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, The New York Times, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. She’s an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She’s now at work on Wound Revisions: Memoirs and a poetry collection.