Poetry’s Musical Bloodline: A Sociohistorical Soundtrack is a master class exploring the historic connections between music and poetry, with particular interest in music of the African diaspora. Participants will plumb insights into creating poems that address the history, culture, characters, geographies and politics of music across generations and across the world. We will read poems from selected authors, provide a forum for deep listening to selected tunes, and create assignments that prompt new and dynamic explorations that bring the energy of music into our poems.
This class will be taught by Tyehimba Jess, author of leadbelly and the Pulitzer Prize–winning Olio. Library Journal has called Olio a "daring collection, which blends forthright, musically acute language with portraiture." Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called it "Encyclopedic, ingenious, and abundant" and selected it as one of the five best poetry books of 2016. Jess is the Poetry and Fiction Editor of the African American Review and is Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.