Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
Born in southern Vietnam and raised in southern California, she often explores in her work the role of the body as the site of memory. She is the author of the novel The Gangster We Are All Looking For and the solo performance works Red Fiery Summer, the bodies between us, and Carte Postale, which have been presented at, among other venues, the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, the International Women Playwrights' Festival in Galway, Ireland, the New World Theater at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the Marfa Theater Company in Marfa, Texas. She has been awarded fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and United States Artists.
Unique among literary forms, poetry has the power to startle and to stun, to make us feel at once transported and more deeply rooted. In this introductory course we will aim to engage with and understand the potency of poetry, focusing on the interplay between what can be sounded out, and what can only be sensed. By reading and discussing a wide range of works-from ancient fragments to contemporary poems-and through guided writing exercises-we will explore the ways poetry distills human experience. Readings may include work by Sappho, Ho Xuan Huong, Ingeborg Bachmann, Czeslaw Milosz, Seamus Heaney, Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, Danez Smith, and others.
A poem may take many forms, but it often begins as an attempt to trace a fracture in, or piece together fragments of, memory, history, or desire. In this workshop we will explore the impulses and imperatives that launch a poem, and the discipline required to find the lines that most precisely reflect and convey a poem's concerns. Participants are invited to think deeply about the animating forces behind their own work and the work of others and, with a generous spirit, listen for and turn toward all that they don't yet know, but which the making of the poem itself is an attempt to draw closer to. Readings may include work by: Elizabeth Bishop, Lucille Clifton, Emily Dickinson, Christopher Gilbert, Lynda Hull, Joan Naviyuk Kane, Robin Coste Lewis, Layli Long Soldier, and others. Prerequisite: Previous creative writing workshop experience.