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WSP 77 — A Poetry Workshop with Edward Hirsch at Tor House

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thurs-Sat
Course Format: Off-campus retreat
Duration: 3 days
Date(s): Oct 19—Oct 21
Drop Deadline: Oct 5
Unit: 1
Tuition: $600
Instructor(s): Edward Hirsch
Limit: 15
Status: Pre-approval required
prior to enrollment
Off-campus retreat
Oct 19—Oct 21
3 days
Drop By
Oct 5
1 Unit
Edward Hirsch
Pre-approval required
prior to enrollment
Please note: Due to the extremely limited size of this workshop, enrollment is subject to instructor approval. Interested students must submit three poems for review and a paragraph about why s/he would like to join the workshop prior to enrolling. Starting on August 21, students may add themselves to a wait list. After joining the waitlist, students will be emailed instructions on how to submit their materials. Submissions must be received by Friday, September 1 at 5:00 pm (PT). Students will be notified of their status the week of September 18.

Nationally renowned and prize-winning poet Edward Hirsch will teach a long-weekend poetry writing workshop in the extraordinary setting of Robinson Jeffers’s Tor House in Carmel. The workshop will be limited to fifteen students, and includes a welcome dinner Thursday evening, catered breakfasts and lunches, a private tour of Tor House, and an excursion to Point Lobos.

In this workshop, we will spend time writing, reading, discussing, and critiquing each other’s poetry. We will also think about the nature of poetry itself, paying particular attention to poetic form, the shape and structure of a literary work, and its way of unfolding, model of being, and method of understanding. We will consider prescribed or fixed forms, which create a series of expectations that are either fulfilled or defied in various ways, and organic forms, which grow from within, like plants. We will consider form as something the poet makes, and sometimes breaks. The workshop will focus particularly on the nature of the poetic line, which is a fundamental unit of meaning, a measure of attention, and the character of the poetic stanza, a group or sequence of lines arranged in a pattern. By paying close attention to craft, everyone in the group will become a better poet.

Tentative Schedule (subject to change):

Thursday, October 19
4:00 pm: First workshop session at Tor House; welcome and introductions
7:00 pm: Welcome dinner at CREMA restaurant in Carmel, Pacific Grove

Friday, October 20
9:00 am: Coffee and muffins at Tor House
9:30 am: Second workshop session
12:00pm: Lunch on the private patio at Tor House, followed by a private tour of Tor House and Hawk Tower
2:00 pm: Third workshop session
5:00 pm: Evening and dinner on your own

Saturday, October 21
9:00 am: Coffee and muffins at Tor House
9:30 am: Fourth workshop session
12:00 pm: Picnic lunch and walk at Point Lobos
2:00 pm: Fifth (final) workshop session, ending at 4:00 pm

Directions and recommendations for overnight accommodations will be provided after registration. Tuition discounts are not available.

Grade restriction: No letter grade.

Edward Hirsch, Poet

Edward Hirsch has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, the Prix de Rome, and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award. He is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and the president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Hirsch’s first collection of poems, For the Sleepwalkers, received the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from NYU and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. His second collection, Wild Gratitude, received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hirsch received a PhD in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Edward Hirsch, The Essential Poet’s Glossary (ISBN 978-0-544-93123-7)