People in the rest of the United States and in Europe have difficulty in adjusting to the fact that the Pacific Coast of America faces the Far East, culturally as well as geographically. There is nothing cultish about this, as there might be elsewhere. The residents of California, Oregon, and Washington are as likely to travel across the Pacific as across the continent and the Atlantic.
– Kenneth Rexroth
Pacific Rim Poetics
What does it mean to be a West Coast poet? Or to broaden the view, a Pacific Rim poet? In this course, we’ll look at some of the distinctions that make up the poetics of our region and beyond, from the haibun of Basho to the list poems of Sei Shonagon. We’ll look at the serial poems of Jack Spicer, Nathaniel Mackey and Robin Blaser and Lissa Wolsak’s phosphorus of the mystery. Class time will be given to readings (& listenings) of work, as well as writing exercises and discussion.