Featured offerings: This fall, the Loft presents Vigilance. Visit our Vigilance page to learn more and plan your participation.

Love/Hate: How to Read & Enjoy Poems

Date: 9/21/17 – 11/30/17

Location: Open Book-Loft Classroom

Day of the Week: Thursday

Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Ages: Adult

Class Level: Open to All Levels

Genre: For Readers

• Regular: $144.00
• Member: $129.60
• Low-Income: $100.80

Many readers find themselves turned off or shut out by poetry. Line breaks and stanzas cause discomfort. Readers fear "not getting it." In this class, we'll acknowledge those anxieties while confronting contemporary poetry head on.

Beginning with arguments about poetry by Ben Lerner and Ken Chen, we'll start to unpack our hesitations and hang-ups about poetry and learn ways to discover poems we do enjoy. With those arguments in mind, we'll read poetry journals (Poetry Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Muzzle Magazine) to encounter poems by as many writers as possible rather than on single authors. We'll also listen to audio of poets reading their work and hear other writers talk about some of the poems. We'll ask ourselves which poems we're drawn to, which we resist, and whyno judgment and no "wrong" answers.

Throughout, we'll learn new ways of talking about poems, with no pressure to like or "understand" them, but with a goal of learning to better articulate our tastes in poetry and, hopefully, discover a new writer to watch or read new work by an old favorite.

All reading levels welcome, though there may be mature content. Prior to the first class, students should acquire and read Ben Lerner's The Hatred of Poetry (FSG Originals, 2016; $12) and Ken Chen's response essay "What's the Matter With Poetry?" (online at The New Republic's website). Issues of Poetry Magazine will be distributed in class ($7 copy fee, payable to teaching artist).

Class meets 6 times, every other week: 9/21, 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 11/30.