“Many people say they don’t ‘get’ poetry,” says Ben Jackson. “I don’t always ‘get’ it either. But I know what my body feels, I know what my mind processes, and that’s enough for me to find my way into a poem, whether I’m the author or the reader. I ‘get’ poetry in my own way. I believe you can too.
“So let’s start with a clean slate. We’ll begin the course thinking about what makes poetry pleasurable for each of us, reading some poems by others, and then drafting some of our own. Next, we’ll delve into the pleasures and the mysteries of other poets’ work, as well as our own fledgling compositions, paying close attention to imagery, rhythms, and forms. In the final class sessions we’ll go over various revision practices and discuss ways to maintain a fresh relationship with our poems during the editing process. My goal is to help you find comfort and excitement from the mysteries of poetry, and to do so by finding your own way in.”
Whether you are new to poetry or you are looking for deeper immersion into the art form, this course will show you a variety of ways to appreciate, learn from, and fall in love with both the reading and writing of poetry.
Ben Jackson has taught creative writing to students from the second grade up to the college level. A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program, he currently teaches literature at the University of San Francisco. His work has appeared in New England Review, Hudson Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, The Journal, and elsewhere. His awards include the 2015 Robinson Jeffers Tor House Poetry Prize as well as residencies from Vermont Studio Center, Jentel Artist Residency Program, and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.