Instructor: Robert Pinsky
July 14 - 15
Saturday & Sunday
10am - 1pm
2 Sessions

I want to encourage new work, to be read aloud rather than photocopied, as a way to concentrate on issues of feeling, meaning and sound in a way that is different from discussion based on printed text. I hope that discussion of specific examples written by members of the group will help us think about principles: issues of emotion, form, intellectual possibilities, opportunities and dilemmas of composition. To the dichotomy “page or stage” I tend to respond “neither.” For me, ideally, the poet writes with the poet’s own voice (inward or actual) for the reader’s own voice (inward or actual). An excellent example of what I mean is in the videos at

I'll ask each student to bring one copy of a recently-written poem, for reading aloud to the group. I’ll recommend (not require!) my little book The Sound of Poetry: A Brief Guide and my anthology Essential Pleasures. And another recommended web site:

Robert Pinsky‘s new book of poems, At the Foundling Hospital, was published in December, 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book meditates the “foundling” to exemplify the ways cultural identity and personal identity, both, are improvised, imposed, hybrid, multiple and combustible. Robert’s Selected Poems appeared in 2011. He has described his 2013 book Singing School as a combined anthology and manifesto. His best-selling translation The Inferno of Dante was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry and the Harold Morton Landon translation prize. His other awards include the William Carlos Williams Prize, The Lenore Marshall Prize, the Korean Manhae Prize, the Italian Premio Capri and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pen American Center. As Poet Laureate of the United States, he founded the Favorite Poem Project, featuring the videos at He performs with pianist Laurence Hobgood on the spoken word CDs PoemJazz and House Hour, from Circumstantial Productions. Robert Pinsky is the only member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on both The Colbert Report and The Simpsons