Don’t Just “Use the Force” or “Go with the Flow”–You Gotta “Trust the Turn”!

27 07 2010

My essay “Trust the Turn: Focusing the Revision Process in Poetry” has just been published in Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook, edited by Joshua Marie Wilkinson (U of Iowa P, 2010).

A version of the essay can be found here, but you should get the book–it’s terrific!  (The good John Gallaher agrees, here.)  Tons (99, to be exact) of great (micro-)essays on teaching poetry by some excellent poets and poet-teachers, including a number of those associated with Structure & Surprise, such as Timothy Liu, Peter Gizzi, Rachel Zucker, Prageeta Sharma, D. A. Powell, and Mark Yakich.  (Not to mention a whole bunch of friends, mentors, colleagues, sparring partners, and role models, including Srikanth Reddy, Laura Mullen, Mark Wallace, Catherine Wagner, Brenda Hillman, John Gallaher himself, Johannes Goransson, Arielle Greenberg, Kent Johnson, Matthew Zapruder, Lara Glenum, Sabrina Orah Mark…the list goes on!)

Do note that–if you do get the book and you are interested in turns–there is at least one other essay that reveals interest in turns: Karla Kelsey’s “Teaching Writing through the Sonnet Tradition.”  Kelsey includes the following among her “favorite prompts”:

“Reconsidering the turn: turn as rhetorical moment, as change in speaker, as change in perceptual attention, as change in visual register…”

Hopefully, Structure & Surprise serves as a good starting point for those who want to (re-)consider the turn!



One response

11 09 2010
Drew Byrne

What would a “poet”
do without a poem?
Lax-wax Lyrical
on the sidelines
of serendipity?

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