Poetry of Witness: Writing as Activism
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Poet Bruce Weigel says, “Witnessing isn’t just looking at something, witnessing is seeing something and bringing it into your body and mind and heart and soul.” Poems of witness document atrocities and social injustices. There is an urgency and impetus to give voice to the ongoing and systematic oppression of marginalized people, even if one has not personally experienced such repression, for we live in a country, and a world, where we are all connected by the consequences of political actions.
In this course, you don’t have to be a poet (yet), as we investigate what it means to be a witness by discussing a group of contemporary poets who have refined and refreshed the genre, thereby continually providing examples of what it means to be a credible observer, an informed witness. Poetry of Witness is not political poetry, nor a place to perch upon a soapbox; it is to bear witness to a specific event or issue, writing from an individual, not collective mind-speak. By the very essence of witnessing, whether observing or participating, poets have the ability to wield language into poetic activism. We will arrive at our own work by close readings of those poets already situated as witnesses and interrogate our own worldviews to create work with integrity and power.
Native Pathways students register with CRN 30380, all other students register with CRN 30381.
Class Size: 25
5% Reserved for Freshmen
Scheduled for: Evening
Final schedule and room assignments:
First meeting:Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 6:00 pm
Located in: Olympia