It’s tricky to write about the places we visit. Travel poems come with a flood of unfortunate expectations: sentimentality, clichés, souvenirs, and so on. How can we refrain from being tourists in our own poems? How can we allow a place to be “real” and “authentic” without projecting our expectations onto it? How, for example, could Paris be anything other than romantic, city of love, beautiful, historical... ? How can we convey, through poems, the complicated, nuanced, wild, deeply personal experience of standing on a street in another city? In this session, you’ll learn some skills that will help you approach this much-trodden road with freshness and innovation. We’ll look at some terrific examples, and you’ll write a few poems of your own.
JOHN WALL BARGER’s poems and critical writing have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review Online, ZYZZYVA, The Cincinnati Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Best of the Best Canadian Poetry. His sixth book of poems, Smog Mother, came out with Palimpsest Press in Fall 2022. He is a contract editor for Frontenac House, and teaches in the BFA Program for Creative Writing at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
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