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Online Poetry Workshop with Jennifer Foerster

September 6, 2022 - October 25, 2022


The course: A Poetics of Listening
Language and the environment are interwoven. How can we find language for our changing environment? How can we use language responsibly in our efforts to rebalance our humanity with the environment of the earth? In this class, we will practice poetry as a means of exploring this question.

All language-making must begin with listening; listening for the sounds beneath what we think we know. Language is generated by our intelligence, but our intelligence can also override our intuition, just as it too often overrides our questioning. If I think I know what needs to be said, I’m not listening to what is occurring and I’m not listening to the questions. Questions, I believe, help us to re-orient, to re-balance, to find our way back to what we already know, to our original knowing, our original interconnectedness. Poetry is not actually a language of speaking or writing, but a language of deep listening, listening for the questions and for the original knowledge towards which these questions guide us.

In this class, we will turn our attention and deep listening to the ephemeral present/presence of time and place. Close observation, methods for listening, scientific and creative inquiry, and careful writing will be fundamental to this practice. This workshop aims to be a generative space for practicing listening and creating new poetic work, and will involve a balance of reading, writing, discussion, and responding to one another’s poems-in-process.

The Instructor: Jennifer Elise Foerster is the author of Leaving Tulsa, Bright Raft in the Afterweather, and The Maybe-Bird. Jennifer served as the associate editor of When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry.  She earned her Ph.D. in English and Literary Arts from the University of Denver, is the recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford. Her poetry has recently appeared in POETRY London, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, and other journals. Jennifer currently teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop, among other programs, and is the Literary Assistant to the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. She grew up living internationally, is of European (German/Dutch) and Mvskoke descent, and is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. She lives in San Francisco. Photo by Richard Blue Cloud Castaneda.

Duration: This class meets once a week over eight consecutive Tuesdays from 7-9 pm ET.

Application period: Apply by August 5th.

Click here for more details about Orion Online Writers’ Workshops.



September 6, 2022
October 25, 2022
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