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  • Seminar
  • In-Person: Seaport

The Ecstatic Exhibit: Poetic Essays and How to Curate Them

Apply for Scholarship
  • $85.00 Non-Member
  • $75.00 Member

Class Description

Essayists and Poets have a lot more in common than they think. After all, the latin origin of the word 'essay' is a verb meaning 'to attempt, to weigh, to ascertain,' and the ecstatic tradition of poetry is characterized as an attempt to capture in microscopic detail fleeting spontaneous moments of awe or revelation. In this course we'll be looking at poetic essays as ecstatic exhibits of cultural artifacts curated by their authors.

We'll explore how Hanif Abdurraqib, Richard Siken, and Ross Gay curate and connect strings of observations together to unearth tensions, striking overlaps, contradictions, un-said truths and ironies that put on display the mess of what it means to be human. These writers expertly walk the reader through a cabinet of curiosities rather than telling the reader how they should feel about each artifact. They bring subjects into conversation with each other, without limiting the direction those conversations go. Through class discussion and craft insights from Annie Dillard and Angel Nafis, we'll acquire the tool set to curate our own exhibits, whether they be in the form of a poem, an essay, or something in between.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.

Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask-optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in person.

Space Accessibility:

Our space is ADA accessible with automatic door openers, ADA-compliant restrooms, desk and table spacing, braille signage, and elevator. Our classrooms can be equipped with ALS for hard of hearing individuals. We cannot guarantee a scent-free environment. For more accessibility requests, please contact our Operations team at [email protected] or (617) 695-0075.