The Workshop in Poetics is concerned with the theoretical and practical dimensions of the reading and criticism of poetry. Since it was founded in 2007, the Workshop has been a central venue at Stanford for sharing projects in a general conversation outside of disciplinary and national limits. Its core members are about twenty graduate students, several members of the Stanford faculty, and regular attendees from the Bay Area literary community. Everyone is welcome.
The workshop's main purpose is to offer Ph.D. students a place to present their work in progress in a community of peers and faculty. Not bound by language or period, the group has discussed most of the literatures studied at Stanford.
Events follow several formats. The most common format is a discussion of work in progress by either a member of the group or a visiting speaker; for these events, the paper under discussion is circulated in advance. Recent speakers have included Karen Emmerich, Stephanie Burt, Jennifer Scappettone, Karen van Dyck, Timothy Hampton, John Kerrigan, and Gregory Jusdanis. Some events address the state of the field, identifying a topic or issue or a recent book for general discussion, often introduced by the author. Another category deals with neglected classics in poetics, usually books or articles that once were widely known but are now seldom found in curricula or criticism.
Student members find the workshop useful because it augments their coursework and dissertation writing with fresh perspectives and an attentive, often challenging community of interlocutors. Many advanced dissertations in the group have been discussed in two meetings, and in principle nearly every chapter by a member can find an occasion to be presented.
In 2010-11 and 2015-16, Roland Greene and Nicholas Jenkins offered a graduate seminar, "Poetics Then and Now," as a formal exploration of the group's interests. In 2019-20, the workshop also hosted "Lunch Poems" (h/t Frank O'Hara), a series of informal lunch meetings dedicated to the discussion of poems selected by participants. And for the first time in 2020-21, the workshop has been joined by a new faculty chair, Professor Marisa Galvez. We are thrilled to welcome her at the helm of our community and look very much forward to the fresh momentum she will impart to the intellectual life of the workshop.
To receive event announcements, please join the Poetics Workshop listserv.
Faculty Co-Chairs: Marisa Galvez, Roland Greene
Graduate Coordinators: Jonathan Atkins, Katherine Whatley
A record of our past events can be viewed here: