“After all, beauty has only three possible endings, and only one of them is bearable,” said the poet Larry Levis.
To write the nature poem and step into the tradition of poetry on nature is to, undeniably, write about beauty. To write about nature is also undeniably to write not just about the landscape but also who lives and lived on that land, what violences are embedded in the soil that do not simply remain in the past.
This craft class will use the idea behind Tiana Clark’s book title as a launching point: “I can’t talk about the trees without the blood.” How can the beauty of landscape simultaneously exist with what is unbearable about it? This conversation will explore how poets have used place, landscape, and the environment to create the tenuous emotional textures, and nuanced complexities of the spaces they inhabit.
Through guided in class writing exercises, participants will be encouraged to produce new work that tackles the discussions at hand and though not required, will have the opportunity to share.