Epic: An Exploration of the Long Poem

Saturday, Apr 20, 9:00am
Healing Arts Conference Room, Healing Center

The epic is one of the oldest poetic forms. Most of us are familiar with Gilgamesh and the Odyssey yet, in contemporary poetry, these massive poems may or may not take on such structured narratives with archetypal protagonists. Today's long form poetry can be anti-narrative and be either lyrical or not. Some long poems are verse novels or verse dramas. While other long poems are more disjunctive and disruptive. We want to explore the many ideas of what is possible for today's long poems, epics and poetic series. As writers of long poems, we wish to discuss not only our own work but also those poets/poems who have tackled this form and length. Among these writers are Genet, HD, Renee Gladman and Cathy Park Hong. This discussion will include an exploration of sequencing and how time/movement occurs or is removed/slowed. We will also discuss the interiority of a piece minus the focus on plot. How a voice/self/idea relates to language and reality. Finally, there is the topic of failure. What is an epic failing? 


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