#AWP18 Event Organizer Q&A with Brian Brodeur

AWP | March 2018

Event Title: Unacknowledged Legislators: Poetry in the Age of Alternative Facts
Description: What counts as political poetry? Which characteristics constitute a successful political poem? Can invocations of myth, landscape descriptions, and dramatic personae affect social, cultural, and political change? Join us for a lively consideration of these and other topics, including literary representations of otherness, the political implications of prosodic techniques, and writing beyond the limitations of satire, polemics, and prophecy. 
Participants: Brian Brodeur, Dorianne Laux, David Mason, Nicole Terez Dutton
Location: Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Date & Time: Friday, March 9, 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.


Q: What new understanding or knowledge will attendees walk away from your event with?
A: My hope is that attendees will leave this event both inspired and provoked. I see this panel discussion as a chance to consider the possibilities of the future of lyric poetry, its unique power to celebrate, witness, challenge, and even affect the historical events and cultural assumptions of our moment

Q: What makes your event relevant and important in 2018?
A: As Auden insisted, “poetry makes nothing happen.” Yet poets from Homer and Dante through Whitman and Dickinson have challenged political realities in work still relevant today. More recently, poets as diverse as Darwish, Neruda, Rich, and Brooks have engaged war, class struggles, and issues of social change. This panel will consider how current poets negotiate the political upheavals unique to our historical moment while still attending to the poetries of the past.   

Q: What are some of the conference events (besides your own) or bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing?
A: I look forward to attending “Intersectional South: New Perspectives in Southern Poetry,” “Writing that Raids the Real: Research in Three Genres,” and “Hell’s Bells: A Talk on Tone by Mary Ruefle,” among many other events.

Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
A: Some recent collections of poetry I’m excited to recommend include Michelle Y. Burke’s Animal Purpose (2016), George David Clark’s Reveille (2015), Mai Der Vang’s Afterland (2017), Megan Grumbling’s Booker’s Point (2016), Steve Scafidi’s The Cabinetmaker’s Window (2014), Michael Shewmaker’s Penumbra (2017), and Phillip B. Williams’s Thief in the Interior (2016). I’m currently reading Emily Watson’s new blank verse translation of The Odyssey (2017).

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