"The Self" with Jacqueline Trimble

Join Jacqueline Trimble's final Cave Canem Spring Workshop session, for a reading from students and Trimble herself.

Much of the work of poets such as Lucille Clifton, Mary Oliver, and Sharon Olds seems rooted in the lives of the poets themselves. How do these poets and others use their own lives to say something about their larger context, about a truth that resonates with or connects to the lives of others? This generative workshop will mine the self as a source for writing poems about the world outside the self. We will examine the work of others then, using prompts and exercises, take a closer look at our physical and geographical selves as source material, to arrive at some poetic observations about how we live. We will experiment with forms (epistolary, narrative, fractured lyric, etc.) and explore the self as inspiration, or as Richard Hugo might call it, the "triggering town", moving beyond poetry that simply looks inward, but that uses the inward glance to do more than describe self.

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Jacqueline Trimble lives and writes in Montgomery, Alabama. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow and an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in various journals including Poetry, The Offing, and Poet Lore, and has also been featured by Poetry Daily. Trimble’s writing has been anthologized in The Night’s Magician, Southern Writers on Writing, and most recently The Beautiful: Poets Reimagine America. She has also written 13 episodes of Die Testament, a South African soap opera. Her debut poetry collection, American Happiness, was named the Best Book of 2016 by Seven Sisters Book Awards and won the Balcones Poetry Prize. Her latest collection, How to Survive the Apocalypse, was published in 2022. Trimble is Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University.

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