About the Poetry Workshop…
“Always for the first time.” Our Looking Glass Rock workshop will offer us the sounds of birdsong from the North Carolina side of the mountains. Poetry is even now leaning forward, trying to capture the unique sensory beauty of Brevard, the fragrance at this altitude. We’ll use all the tools of poetry––words, sounds, rhythms, images––to better appreciate the beauty and to help each explore our particular, textured memories. “Always for the first time” is one of art’s great gifts to us, that we experience profoundly the impact of place, savor it long in our words and songs, revisit memories as often as we wish. — Marilyn Kallet
Every spring for the last ten years I have taught a poetry workshop, “O Taste and See: Writing the Senses in Deep France,” in Auvillar, France. Each time I go to the village, I experience a new flavor, a new wine, and meet new cats and villagers. Poetry has the ability not only to capture sight, fragrance, sounds, but also can evoke a new lyrical place for the reader. Poetry is a portable lens.
We don’t have to be in France to experience a landscape “always for the first time,” to taste and see! Our Looking Glass Rock workshop will offer us a taste of Brevard, the sounds of birdsong from the North Carolina side of the mountains. Poetry is even now leaning forward, trying to capture the unique sensory beauty of Brevard, the fragrance at this altitude.
What are the particulars of this beauty? Poetry knows how to invite sensory details onto the page. And the lyric poem remembers more than we do, allows us to delve into our memories of places and skies. Poetry has memorized the carpet on my mother’s bedroom floor, the rhythm of her rocking chair, the sound of my father angrily telling us children to “close the screen door!” In poetry, all is treasure, even the angry blotches of the palette.
I look forward to our first time of writing together in Brevard. We’ll use all the tools of poetry––words, sounds, rhythms, images––to better appreciate the beauty of Brevard, and to help each expore our particular, textured memories. We will compose a new draft each day, so that participants can return home with a booklet of poems, seeds of new manuscripts. I use a trove of time-tested writing prompts that have produced award-winning poetry from my participants from over forty years of teaching. Many of my students have published well over the years, books and individual poems.
“Always for the first time” is one of art’s great gifts to us, that we experience profoundly the impact of place, savor it long in our words and songs, revisit memories as often as we wish. Each time we’ll see something new. Let’s look up into the mountains around Brevard, and down into the valley, or take a closer look at the little mica pebble that has lodged itself in our shoe. Taste local berries and feel ripeness on the tongue, where song is waiting to be born. — Marilyn Kallet
About the author…
Marilyn Kallet was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and grew up in New York; this tension between North and South is one of the themes in her poetry. Her degrees are from Tufts, the Sorbonne, and Rutgers (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature.) Kallet has published sixteen books, including six volumes of poetry, translations, critical essays, children’s books, pedagogy, and anthologies of women’s literature. In addition to teaching at the University of Tennessee, she teaches a poetry workshop for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts at their site in Auvillar, France. Among other honors, she has won the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Fellowship in poetry, and was inducted into the East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame in poetry, 2005; the Knoxville YWCA named her Woman of Achievement in the Arts, 2000; she was awarded an Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Kallet has performed her poetry on campuses and in theaters across the United States, in France and in Warsaw and Krakow, as a guest of the U.S. Embassy’s “America Presents” cultural arts program. More at http://marilynkallet.com/