Sunday, October 25, 2020

Writing poetry with Denise Levertov in the 1980s

In Winter 1986, I took the first of two poetry workshops with Denise Levertov at Stanford. I had to apply for the course, so all the participants had some experience writing poetry, and Denise generally didn't do exercises or assign tasks. Instead, she just had us bring in poems for discussion with her and the group. Her emphasis was on free verse in the tradition of William Carlos Williams that she herself wrote in, so there was much discussion of line breaks and of focusing on images rather than abstractions. Even today, my writing is still influenced by her, even though most of my poetry is now in meter and rhyme. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 25 October)

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