Craft Talk with Mark Wunderlich: The Posthumous Voice: how poets bring the dead back to life
Poetry at Bennington—Spring 2021
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | The rather gothic title of this talk describes a stance taken by many poets over the centuries who have chosen to imagine themselves as having departed from this world, but still capable of speech. Others have chosen to perform literary ventriloquism, by giving voice to the dead. What is behind this impulse, and how does it work? In this talk, we will look at poems by Whitman, Dickinson, Rilke, Clifton, MacLeish, Plath, CD Wright and others, all of whom have performed versions of this great magic trick.
Mark Wunderlich is the author of four collections of poetry, God of Nothingness (Graywolf, 2021); The Earth Avails (Graywolf, 2014), which won the 2015 UNT Rilke Prize and was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award; Voluntary Servitude (Graywolf, 2004), and The Anchorage (U of Massachusetts Press, 1999), winner of the Lambda Literary Award.
He has received fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Amy Lowell Trust, and his widely anthologized poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Poetry magazine He lives in the Hudson River Valley and has taught at Bennington since 2004. Since 2017, he has served as director of the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program.
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