“it might be a large speech time”: epic feminisms, feminist epic — Master Class with erica kaufman

In “Epic & Performance,” Anne Waldman writes, “we all live the epic life,” meaning that we all live amidst war, prophecy, corruption, triumph, and belief. Given our contemporary (political) moment, the form of the epic is rife with possibility—a “hero’s” journey explicitly challenges a reader to meet violence head on, to wade into uncertainty, and take charge of the agency language offers. The stakes are particularly high when the poet is not the usual patriarch in training. This workshop will look at various approaches to the contemporary epic as a form of action and activism, and the teaching and writing of the feminist epic as revolution in and of itself. Why turn to epic in 2020? What kind of news can this kind of poetics make?

erica kaufman

erica kaufman is the author of POST CLASSIC (Roof Books, 2019), INSTANT CLASSIC (Roof Books, 2013) and censory impulse (Factory School, 2009). she is also the co-editor of NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life and Work of kari edwards (Venn Diagram, 2009), and of Adrienne Rich: Teaching at CUNY, 1968-1974 (Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, 2014). prose and critical work can be found in: The Color of Vowels: New York School Collaborations (ed. Mark Silverberg, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), The Supposium: Thought Experiments and Poethical Play in Difficult Times (ed. Joan Retallack, Litmus Press, 2018), Approaches to Teaching the Works of Gertrude Stein (eds. L’ Esdale and D. Mix, MLA, 2018), and Reading Experimental Writing (ed. G. Colby, Edinburgh University Press). recent poems can be found in A Perfect Vacuum and P-Queue. kaufman is the Director of the Bard College Institute for Writing & Thinking and Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities.