Lyric Ecology: A Poetry Workshop
This week’s workshop is about nature poetry. What is nature? A tree, a stone, a landscape? Is the city part of nature? Is language? What we do intend when we use natural elements in our poems? All week we’ll talk about the lyric as we explore the many ways a poem is “about” nature. To help, we’ll read both classic and contemporary poems, and we’ll try out options from “pure” descriptive lyrics to more political or socially engaged narratives. We’ll look at old forms (like the georgic and pastoral) but also new possibilities such as hybrid texts, erasures, documentary poems, and the eco-poem. There’s more than one way to write a nature poem.
You’re welcome to bring a couple of your in-progress nature poems but the focus this week will be to generate new poems during our time together, based on specific prompts and assignments I’ll make day by day. This workshop is open to poets of any level of experience.
David Baker’s latest poetry books are Swift: New and Selected Poems (2019), Scavenger Loop (2015), and Never-Ending Birds (2009), which received the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. His prose works include Show Me Your Environment (2014) and Radiant Lyre (2007). His poems appear in APR, The Atlantic, The Nation, New Yorker, Poetry, and Tin House. Baker is Poetry Editor of Kenyon Review and holds the Fordham Chair of Poetry at Denison University in Granville, OH.