Eco-Poetics for a Changing World: Virtual Poetry Class
Dates: 2 Wednesdays, January 26 - February 2
Time: 6 - 8:30 pm
Instructor: Susie Meserve
How do we write eco-poetry in the era of climate change? How do we capture what we love in the natural world, knowing it might disappear?
In this short reading and writing course we’ll mine a variety of “nature writing” texts for inspiration, and use what we find to craft our own poems. We’ll read poetry iconic in American eco-literature—works by Emerson, Frost, others—alongside poetry that takes a different approach than these white and male renderings of the natural world (works by Camille Dungy, Ross Gay, others).
Together, we’ll create an in-class language repository. Then, using techniques like pastiche, theft, collage, mirroring, and reversal, we’ll playfully but intentionally subvert the language(s) of nature writing, drafting poems that get at the core of what we love and fear about our changing landscape and speak to it in a new and fresh way.
Susie Meserve is a poet, essayist, and college writing instructor. Her debut poetry collection, Little Prayers, won a Blue Light Book Award from Blue Light Press and was published in 2018. She’s also the author of the chapbook Faith (Finishing Line Press, 2008). Susie’s poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Gulf Coast, Salamander, Indiana Review, and more. She lives in Berkeley, where she is a 2021 City of Berkeley Civic Arts Grantee.