Poetry and Magic – Mitch Highfill

Mitch Highfill will be teaching a ten-week long Friday evening workshop, beginning October 9, 2009. The class will meet in the Parish Hall from 7-9pm.

This workshop takes the work of Jack Spicer and “the practice of the outside” as a starting point. We will explore different technologies long associated with magic (technologies such as spells, sigils and divination) to generate writing, both in and out of the workshop setting. We will work with sources as diverse as Gerard de Nerval, Christopher Dewdney and W.S. Burroughs. A magical approach to poetics will include such concepts as the Muse, the Duende and the lore accompanying these ideas. The goal here is to gain access to writing that is not limited by the habits of personality or the predilections of the poet, but can expand our ranges to include what Robin Blaser called the outside. We might also consider the more mundane but equally interesting usage of the word magic, that is to say, sleight of hand, or prestidigitation. What does a stage magician have in common with the writer? There will be lots of reading and writing in this workshop.

Mitch Highfill is a poet and Tarot consultant who lives in Brooklyn. He is the author of several books, including Moth Light (Abraham Lincoln) and REBIS (Open Mouth).