On Wednesday, April 7, meet Dr. Jericho Brown via Zoom when he presents his poetry master class-workshop, Jumpstart Your Engines,” through the SUNY Orange Office of Cultural Affairs.
The session is an hour and a half, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
“I’ve been dreaming of it since I was 10 or 11 years old,” states Jericho Brown, PhD, on being awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. That boy, the poet added, “was as a nerdy kid who liked to read and write.”
And now that he has this coveted award, he remembers poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to receive a Pulitzer seventy years ago in 1950.
“So it means the world to me to walk in her footsteps and to hold that mantle up,” Brown said. “I met Gwendolyn once. I understood her not just to be a good poet, but a great ambassador for poetry. So, what’s being asked of me in this moment is to be an ambassador for poetry.”
Attendees should anticipate a class filled with practical ideas and creative ways of expressing themselves sensitively through word and sound. Brown helps participants generate new work through a set of unconventional exercises that keep “our ears open and our fingers moving.” The workshop engenders new ideas about writing, and as “a profound relationship (exists) between reading poetry and writing it, we participants read, discuss, and even recite the work of several poets whose examples might lead us to a further honing of our craft.”
“I think of writing, first, as a process of listening to some series of sounds that enter my mind and, second, as a process of embodying those sounds,” Brown said. “I try and leave as much as I can to instinct, intuition, and reflex—even in the final stages of revision. Because I’m so interested in both music and voice, I find myself trying to figure the personality of the sounds as I am composing.”
Jericho Brown holds a BA from Dillard University, an MFA from University of New Orleans, and a PhD from University of Houston. Presently, he is the director of the Creative Writing Program and the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Registration is required as the format is a webinar. Here is the link:
Questions may be directed to Cultural Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org