Reading and Writing Poetry: Conjuring El Duende (LIT4147.01)

Anaïs Duplan

For Federico García Lorca, the duende was an elusive, powerful aspect of the poem. Poetry that embodies the duende carries within it the capacity to transmit life’s most tragic and enraptured states. The duende is the mark of a fully realized poetics. As poets, then, what does it mean to channel Lorca’s duende into our own writing? Is Lorca’s creative ecstasy possible for us mere mortals? Throughout CONJURING EL DUENDE, students will work towards their own fully realized poetic practices, through ongoing in-class feedback. We will draw inspiration from poets who attempt to scale the spiritual peak that Lorca defines, visiting the edges of human rationality, the boundary between life and death, the euphoria of dance and music, the horrors of national tragedies, and the slipperiness of gender transition. 

Book list: 

  • Duende, Tracy K. Smith
  • In Search of Duende, Federico Garcia Lorca
  • Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion, edited by Lauren Berlant
  • Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials, Reza Negarestani
  • Wound from the Mouth of a Wound, Torrin A. Greathouse
  • This Great Unknowing: Last Poems, Denise Levertov

Learning Outcomes:
- To advance in the practice of writing poetry
- To offer constructive feedback to peers
- To gain familiarity with emotional expression in contemporary poetry

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: To apply, students should send a sample of 5-8 poems via this form by November 17. Students will be notified of acceptance into the class by November 22.
Corequisites: Students are required to attend all Literature Evenings, Bennington Translates, and Poetry at Bennington events this term, commonly held at 7pm on most Wednesday evenings.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature
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