It is not uncommon for poets to be categorized into “schools,” “generations,” or “movements,” each organized around a particular “genius” or two surrounded by rings of increasingly peripheral, “minor” poets, one “movement” responding to the last in art’s own linear and easy-to-anthologize narrative of progress and discovery. Against the pristine manageability of “schools,” we will see what we can learn when we think instead in terms of little groups of friends and lovers, poets and artists who fed each other and stole from each other and loved and fought and mourned and remembered and had fun together. We will think of poems as part of ongoing conversations, we will consider how poems are made possible because poets survived, and how that survival was made possible through the material conditions of existing in relation to others. The people you talk to every day, the people you talk to even when they aren’t there, the people you pay or attempt to pay rent with – they are there already in the poem, always, necessary and alive. In this reading group we will celebrate that relationality, knowing we are a part of it too, the constellation of our lives making us who we are. We will be a little gossipy, elevating the anecdotal, the backstory. We won’t make all that big a difference between art-making and life-making. We will read some Romantics, poets of Kitchen Table Press, we will consider how incarceration fits into this framework of relationality, we will think about translation and letters and imaginary interlocutors, and we won’t forget that this relationality extends beyond just friends and lovers to include humans and non-humans, the animate and inanimate, the living and the dead. These meetings will be facilitated by Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, Laura Henriksen, and Meagan Washington.
This feminist reading group is now full. To be added to the waitlist, email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org