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Introduction to Loving Poetry with Jennifer S. Cheng

This two-part series will meet February 21 and February 28, and is for anyone who is interested in reading, discussing, and/or writing poetry but is perhaps uncertain how to approach it. In “Poetry Is Not A Luxury,” Audre Lorde describes poetry as the essential “quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives,” and in Why Poetry, Matthew Zapruder says it is “getting close to the unsayable and feeling it.” In the first exploratory session, we will dip our toes by becoming familiar with various poetic and aesthetic concepts (such as duende, bewilderment, and negative capability) and discussing together what poetry is and why we read/write it. Then, in a second session, we will continue our conversation and experiment wildly with writing our own poems through non-intimidating guided exercises! By the end of our time, you will have discovered how poetry is a way of being and thinking that is inside all of us.

About Jennifer S. Cheng

Jennifer S. Cheng’s work includes poetry, lyric essay, and image-text forms. Her book MOON: Letters, Maps, Poems was selected by Bhanu Kapil for the Tarpaulin Sky Book Award and was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Publishers Weekly. She is also the author of House A, selected by Claudia Rankine for the Omnidawn Poetry Book Prize and Invocation: An Essay, an image-text chapbook published by New Michigan Press. She received fellowships and awards from Brown University, the University of Iowa, the U.S. Fulbright program, Kundiman, Bread Loaf, and the Academy of American Poets. Having grown up in Texas and Hong Kong, she lives in San Francisco.