Sun Tunnels: On Temporality and the Borders of the Poem with Jay Deshpande

As poets we think a great deal about the creative process, but we often overlook the strange relationship between poem-making and time. What happens to us, and in us, when we write? When we read or listen? This talk will consider temporal context to reexamine how a poem exists in time and how a reader can exist inside a poem. In essence, we’ll look at beginnings and endings—but with the goal of problematizing what those words even mean. Looking at a variety of lyric poems and also considering performance, we will rewrite our old poems and write new ones as we explore what the time-space of a poem really is and what it leaves out. Participants will test out several prompts for making new work and will leave with new ideas for engaged praxis in the world.

All participants will have access to a cloud recording of the craft lab for one month afterward.



Jay Deshpande is the author of Love the Stranger (YesYes Books, 2015), named one of the top debuts of 2015 by Poets & Writers, and the chapbooks The Rest of the Body (YesYes Books, 2017) and The Umbrian Sonnets (PANK Books, 2020). A 2018–20 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and the winner of the Scotti Merrill Memorial Award and Narrative‘s Annual Poetry Contest, he has also received fellowships from Kundiman, Civitella Ranieri, and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. His poems have appeared in the American Poetry ReviewNew Republic and New England Review, among many other places. He is an advisory editor for Northwest Review and writes criticism for GuernicaPleiadesKenyon Review and Boston Review. He holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and has taught workshops for Poets House, the Academy of American Poets and Columbia’s MFA program. Deshpande started teaching for Brooklyn Poets in 2017, quickly becoming one of our most popular teachers and selling out all fourteen of his workshops and mentorship courses since that time. He is the director of our Mentorship Program.