"I Remember": Lyrical Layering in Poetry and Nonfiction
Poets—from Homer to Milton to Whitman, and beyond—have used lists in their poems: to convey abundance, to convey overwhelming force and grandeur, to show dizzying scale, to give a semblance of form to the chaos of experience.
That's not what Joe Brainard does. In his I Remember, Joe Brainard uses the form of the list the way a Pointilist painter uses tiny circles of paint. Each item in the list begins with “I remember,” and each item represents a tiny moment from Brainard's past.
In this three hour generative workshop, we'll read substantial excerpts from I Remember. We'll look at how Brainard's seemingly simple repetition of "I remember," coupled with his recitation of bald autobiographical fact, adds up to a quietly devastating, meticulously layered portrait of the "I," the world in which the "I" lives, and the world the “I” remembers. Then, we'll explore how we can use similar strategies in our own writing.
Poets, memoirists, and writers of lyrical essays are all welcome.
This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!
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- Personal Essay