The goal of this program is to immerse students in an intense and vigorous writing community, both as writers of poetry and as critical writers and readers. It is hoped that this daily contact with practicing writers, poets, translators, and publishers will advance each student's writing horizons and range of reading possibilities, demystify the practice and profession of writing, and inspire students to advance in their own art.
This field study program features an immersion in New York City's poetry, literary, art, and publishing worlds. We will spend two weeks on campus preparing for our trip by way of various readings on New York's literary history and the New York School of poets. The focus will be on the relationships between poetry and painting in John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, and James Schuyler; the connections between current publishers like Ugly Duckling Presse and New Directions Publishing Company and the writers they choose to publish; and New York's international literary character. We will then fly to New York City for five weeks, where, in addition to class meetings, students will pursue their own writing, write critical pieces on the poetry they hear at readings and on the books they read for class, interview poets they meet, and be required to attend at least one event a day (or night) across the city. St. Mark's Poetry Project, Academy of American Poets, The New York Public Library, Poets House, and so on—all are options for students to pursue their writing. Local projects might include working on poems to appear in public spaces in the city, working collaboratively on translations of poets writing in other languages while in town, interning at a publishing house, or compiling a journal of field notes. We will also visit the offices of various publishers for an up-close look at how literature is made. Some of these publishers might include The New York Review of Books; Archipelago Books; Rizzoli; New Directions; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, etc.
The final three weeks of the quarter will be spent back on campus in Olympia. We will debrief, finish poems and essays, and produce an anthology of our work.
Prospective students are asked to submit a ten page portfolio of writing. Contact the faculty via email to provide the portfolio and discuss permission to register.
Writing, publishing, the humanities
This program includes a 5-week trip to New York City. Airfare, lodging, meals and local transportation will be arranged directly by the student; students should budget approximately $2500 for this trip.