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Academia

Didactic Sonnet

August 2, 2011
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If Plato came back today and saw the workshop, craft obsessed nature of poetics, he’d give his approval, but not for reasons poets might like: Plato would approve because the stupidity of inspiration has been removed from the writing of poems.

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The Practice of Poetry

July 19, 2011
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The poetry lesson is that poetry is a practice.

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On My Pedagogical Approach (or something of the sort)

May 18, 2011
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Digress, digress, follow the nose of your longing.

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An Open Letter to James Franco

May 9, 2011
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Being in workshop with you isn’t going to make me famous, nor am I going to end up on Judd Apatow’s speed dial, no matter how good the on-screen chemistry between me and Seth Rogan might be…

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The Four Functions and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

April 20, 2011
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As Kafka said: “The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens; doubtless this is so, but it proves nothing against the heavens, for the heavens signify simply: the impossibility of crows.”

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Terms, Truth, Sun Sparrows: A Very Important Lesson from My Father

March 21, 2011
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I tell my students that education can do the work of evil: it can make a bunch of aleatory systems with PHDs think they have a right to be superior to the Rocky Weils of this world. They can make a son misunderstand the wisdom of his own father. They stink of torture and snobbery, they are rank with the odor of exclusion and bias, and we call this “truth” or “Dogma” or “terminology.”

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Poem of the Week: Ai

March 17, 2011
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[Salomé]

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Marriage Counseling for True Minds

February 1, 2011
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To what extent do the classics belong to our actual, lived experience?

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Unstuck with Yahia Lababidi

January 26, 2011
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Yahia Lababidi remembers late nights in his dorm room at George Washington University, tossing in bed as the voices of Wilde, Rilke and Kafka reverberated around him.

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Literary Movements: Insider as Outsider and Token Renegade

December 29, 2010
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When gaining a foothold among the establishment, it is important the so called “outsiders” or mavericks have a figure fully anchored within the establishment who can be “acceptable.”

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Gatekeepers of Literary Greatness: Some Definitions and a Parable about Chickens

December 15, 2010
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The chickens are purifying their system, purging it of corruption. Meanwhile, the chickens who willfully refuse to answer the bell are seen as impious, as negative, as renegades.

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Gatekeepers of Literary Greatness

December 8, 2010
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The more things same, the more they same the change.
Things change by staying the same.
Things stay the same by changing.

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What I Learned in School This Year

November 21, 2010
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Grad school: Don’t go. That is, don’t go–unless you must.

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On Gene Tanta’s “Critical Introduction to Unusual Woods.”

October 30, 2010
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Even though both the form and content of Gene Tanta’s work are particular to his Romanian-immigrant experience, he insists that his poetry is accessible to everyone. His poetry, he says, exists both as aesthetic objects and political propaganda. This is absolutely true about all poetry, not just his own. Inevitably, literary criticism will come to see that literature is always both.

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Joe Weil’s Must Have Books (Towards a Different Kind of Workshop, Part II)

October 23, 2010
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Some days in a writing workshop should be like rainy days with a coloring book.

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Is Democracy Incompatible with the Humanities?

October 15, 2010
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Humanities programs aren’t being attacked because the voters are cretinous philistines (though we poets & writers prefer to stroke our own egos in thinking so). The humanities are suffering an identity crisis and are being picked off as the weakest competitors for state funding.

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