Poetry in a Landscape of Corruption and Hope

Pandemic. Climate Change. Insurrection. Racism. Sexism. Political movements. Social. Cultural. Despair? Hope? The current landscape in the United States, as well as much of the rest of the world, suggests that for many people these are times of exile and return, expatriation and repatriation in terms not only of the physical self, but the intellectual, emotional and aesthetic. And they represent a call for what poetry has always been able to do: incite action, reflection, investigation, protest, clamor, silence, shock, love, purpose, beauty. In this roundtable, we will think about how the nature of the problematic and essentially corrupt and redemptive forces of the world have led to this moment in the world. We will focus on the ways this affects how we think about the writing and reading of poetry, the way it affects the poetics and politics of aesthetics, and what are the roles, if any, poetry might play in generating critiques and solutions. 

Nancy Dixon
Mark Statman
Lisa Pasold
Michael Tod Edgerton