Comet of Stillness: A Short Course on the Poetry of W. S. Merwin

The Community of Writers is pleased to present “Comet of Stillness,” the latest project of the Writers’ Annex: a five-week short course on the life and work of poet W. S. Merwin, led by esteemed poets Victoria Chang and Matthew Zapruder. 

W. S. Merwin’s poetry was visionary, ecological, anti-war, and humanist, and exhibits a clarity and strangeness that continues to exert a profound influence on contemporary American poetry. The goal of these five sessions is to dive deeply into this extraordinary poet and his body of work. Across five sessions, poets Victoria Chang and Matthew Zapruder will facilitate close-readings of key poems, and will situate the poems, and the poet, in their historical contexts. The course will explore Merwin’s formal innovations, his thematic concerns, and his development as a poet from his earliest work to his final poems. Chang and Zapruder will introduce, and talk with, key figures from his literary life, including Merwin’s long-time editor at Copper Canyon Press, Michael Wiegers.