In this talk, sax will be examining poems of outrage, witness, and healing and trying to ascertain what it is about an occasional poem that makes it outlast its particular occasion? Why do some poems remain urgent and essential for generations while others do their work and then fade into obscurity? We’ll study poems that mine the archive of memory as well as the newspaper and newsfeed for material, poems with blood in them, poems that speak back to the immediacy of the world and also manage to stand the test of time.
sam sax is the author of Madness (Penguin, 2017), winner of The National Poetry Series Selected, and Bury It (Wesleyan University Press, 2018), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, and the MacDowell Colony. He’s the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion and winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award and The Gulf Coast Prize. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, Tin House, and other journals. He’s the poetry editor at BOAAT Press.
“Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.”—Audre Lorde