Poetry Craft Talk by Thomas Sayers Ellis: “The Assassination of Poetry, or How I Discovered I Was Writing Cover-Story Poetics"

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Poetry Center - Helen S. Schaefer Building 1508 East Helen Street (At Vine Avenue) Tucson, AZ 85721 United States

From Thomas Sayers Ellis: "In 1990, I published a poem in Ploughshares titled 'Zapruder' about the assassination of JFK. Looking back at the poem nearly twenty years later, I realized that I had allowed some very disturbing and widely accepted untruths to govern my imagination and my prosody, making the poem itself mere musing and something of an uncritical accessory to the official story of the assassination. This poetry craft talk will examine the role of both knowing and truth in creative writing as well as explore some very interesting likenesses between the poetic line and the prose sentence as tools of evidence, witnessing, and poem-body alteration in the battle for accurate literacy. We will also attempt to define Cover-Story poetics and to identify the notion of nuance ideas as Zapruder films that are made to control our own lives and work."