Play and the Art of Poetry

Featuring Vijay Seshadri, Stephanie Burt, and Ng Yi-Sheng. Moderated by Jenny Xie.
Jokes, irony, allusions, doing something for its own sake—play courts misunderstanding, sidelining and, even, contempt. It seems too light, too trivial, for the serious problems of the world. Yet, because of its close attention to form and language, poetry is necessarily playful. Like a child, it is delighted by a rhyme. Like a comedian, it works hard at just the right timing. To explore how poetry and play may rejuvenate the prevailing social and political discourse, three poets, Vijay Seshadri (3 Sections), Stephanie Burt (Advice from the Lights), and Ng Yi-Sheng (A Book of Hims) read from their work and discuss the uses, and the limits, of play with poet Jenny Xie (Eye Level).