Saturday, November 20, 2010

Susan Schultz on Writing --> Attention

From Susan Schultz, a thoughtful musing on what we teach when we teach creative writing. I use "we" here as that tenuous but proverbial bunch of misfits who do poetry, if even for a semester; and especially now, as students in my poetry & radical pedagogies course are (more deliberately and overtly than usual) teaching their own courses at moment. I like that Perez is blogging in real time with students, working to understand his work's implications with him. I've yet to try that. Susan has come to Evergreen for Leonard Schwartz's courses, last when I first arrived at Evergreen, and for public readings, and so like many poets she's workshopped with students directly. Yet the remote but at-the-tip-of-your-fingers way of doing things is something I think worth approaching as well. I also like that Susan zeroes in on attention and/as perception being the critical-creative mode that we're in a sense performing, or doing, or making, actively and together. And that we do this over and again in various text-attentive ways. That this is in large part what we are facilitating I think is a smart, direct way of tackling at least a good part of that what are we doing anxiety (wouldn't be an anxiety but a puzzle, really, were it not for a "market" that finds little commodity value in teaching anything other than basic and specialized, i.e., grant, writing). Worth some looking at & thinking about (back to back dangling operators, ha! I end parenthetically, ha!).

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