The Self and All that Mess welcomes aspiring poets, lapsed poets seeking inspiration, and established poets with published works under their belt.
This class will give you the opportunity to write about and study that with which many of us are the most obsessed: ourselves! We will explore the many forms and styles of the self-portrait in an attempt gain a deeper understanding of ourselves.
Beginning with famous self-portraits from the visual art world by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frida Kahlo, and Pablo Picasso, we will explore some of the motives and strategies of the self-portrait. After setting this visual foundation, we will then closely read and imitate the style and content of poems by Tiana Clark, Evie Shockley, Eduardo Corral, Dean Rader, Mary Szybist, John Ashbery, and others in hopes of generating new material and finding fresh new ways to render ourselves on the page. During our time together, everyone will have the opportunity to workshop at least one poem. And we will finish by looking at poems about self-love so that we can end our time together on a positive, high note.
- Get more comfortable writing about yourself.
- Gain new strategies for writing about yourself.
- Read remarkable contemporary poems about the self, which will make you a more experienced reader and inform your own writing practice.
- Finish the class with some new material and poems, at least one of which will receive thoughtful feedback from peers and a published instructor through the workshop.
- Reading a packet of poems about the self and coming to each session ready to contribute.
- Performing writing prompts in connection with the example poems.
- Participating in a workshop and receiving feedback on your work from your peers and the instructor.
Instructor: Douglas Manuel
Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana and now resides in Long Beach, California. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University, an MFA in poetry from Butler University, and a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. His first collection of poems, Testify, won an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for poetry, and his poems and essays can be found in numerous literary journals, magazines, and websites, most recently Zyzzyva, Pleiades, and the New Orleans Review. A recipient of the Dana Gioia Poetry Award and a fellowship from the Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts, he is a Bayard Rustin Fellow at Whittier College and teaches at Spalding University’s low-res MFA program.