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The Maggie Nelson Seminar – Exercise #3: Poem(s)

We hope you have enjoyed the Tin House Seminar: Maggie Nelson thus far. For those of you new to class, read a full description of the project.

Last week, the seminar read  The Red Parts: A Memoir and completed the second writing assignment.  If you didn’t get a chance to read The Red Parts this week, these supplements will get you up to speed (and really make you want to carve out the time to sit down and read Nelson’s haunting memoir about the murder of her aunt, Jane Mixer, in 1969:

Eve Conant, “A Death in the Family,” The New York Times Book Review

This week, the class has focused on The Latest Winter and ShinerRead the reviews here:  Jordan Davis, The Latest Winter in The Constant Critic and David Gunton, Shiner in Jacket #19.

Exercise #3: Poem(s)

Pick two poems from Shiner, The Latest Winter, and/or Something Bright, Then Holes.  Identify an element in each poem that you’d like to play with in your own work.  The element can be macro (a particular approach to subject matter, a certain kind of voice, a pattern of repetition, a strategy of ligature, etc) or it can be at the level of the sentence (syntax, orthography, lineation, acoustics, diction, etc).  Drawing upon both of the elements you’ve selected, write 2-3 pages of poetry (a single poem, or two, or several—up to you).

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