What People Say

An ideal 21C meta-location…

For a poet & teacher as consciously nomadic in practice & theory as I am, the Chicago School of Poetics is an ideal 21C meta-location: You can teach from wherever you are (traveling to or from) & the students can be — should be! — anywhere in the world. Such marvelous openness makes for very dynamic virtual classroom, in which exchanges of heterogeneous data & knowledge can lead to a truly mestizoed vision of the world, i.e. one reflecting the actual complexity of our multiverse.

—Pierre Joris, author of Barzakh (Poems 2000-2012) and The University of California Book of North African Literature.

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Funny and dazzling and awkward and engaged…

Time to pull down the time space limitations of what and where poetry exchange is occuring in our broken and beautiful 21st C. Chicago School of Poetics is the only institution I know that’s experimenting so widely and freely with making the occasion of writing and community and pedagogy be at all our fingertips and in our eyes. I myself was both elated and terrified to teach a master class through CSoP because I’d previously counted on the presence of bodies as my teaching familiar. Yet I’m turned around now after conducting my master class because my students were funny and dazzling and awkward and engaged and we were also like cats seeing each other in our very own lairs and now I only want to go further and totally relish the feel of this new working and playing field. The glowing space is ours. CSoP showed the way. Yay thanks, guys!

—Eileen Myles

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This is what a school truly should be…

From the perspective of a poet-teacher, the Chicago School of Poetics offers a tremendous opportunity to interact closely with a group of students specifically interested in your work – from anywhere in the world. My students stretched time zones, hemispheres, even the International Date Line. They were knowledgeable and engaged.

This is what a school truly should be – think of Black Mountain College – beyond all the boundaries & borders.

– Ron Silliman

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Proof of the program’s success

I took Poetics II with Francesco Levato this summer (2012). Francesco was gracious, accommodating, and knowledgeable. The exercises in the class were accessible for newer students of poetry, but challenging enough for students who, like me, might already have an MFA. Further, Francesco talked to us about what types of markets might be interested in the types of poems we created, something that I felt was missing from my MFA program. Feedback from other students was invaluable, and I look forward to collaborating with them in the future. I’m currently exchanging poems for a book-length collaboration with another CSoP student—lasting proof of the program’s success.

- H. V. C.

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I recommend these classes to anyone who loves poetry

Although I already have an MFA, I took the on-line Poetics 1 course for two reasons: To study with someone who wasn’t in the circle I normally run with and to see how an on-line class with both a video and an audio component would work. The class was delightful: All of participants provided insightful feedback–discussions were lively and thought-provoking. The instructor, Francesco Levato is a highly knowledgeable and effective teacher. He offered the right amount of structure, both in lecture and assignments, to challenge us and nudge our creativity. I was so pleased that I also took Poetics 2 and plan to sign up for Poetics 3. While there were some occasional hiccups with the technology side of things, taken as a whole, being able to see and hear all of the participants made the experience more personal and I found that I retained more of the discussions and lectures compared to a blog- or bulletin-board-based sort of on-line class. I recommend these classes to anyone who loves poetry.

- N. C. L.

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My favorite part of the class…

I took poetics Level I to get back into writing. I ended up continuing into Level II and will continue into Level III in the fall. I am surprised at how much I have learned and how much my writing and editing process has evolved. The students in the class are very well read and insightful so their contributions to the critiquing and editing process were as valuable as those of our instructor, Francesco Levato. My favorite part of the class is how Francesco brings in so many ways different source material can be used as inspiration for writing. I have had a lot of fun and I do not regret taking the chance and signing up for the Level I class. I would recommend any one else to do so too!

- Angie T.

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Eye-opening and inspirational

I was fairly certain I understood poetry and that it wasn’t for me. But the laid back atmosphere and the clarity with which mediator got across the process. And made the entire experience eye-opening and even inspirational. Worthwhile for anybody looking for an outlet for self expression.

- Milton J.

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Poets Peak

Every Sunday we head to Poets Peak,
phrase karabiners tangling from our waists,
ginsberg rope slung over our shoulders.

We reach to find cracks large enough
to jam our pens into, titles worthy of footholds,
calling out to each other on the way:

The patterns etched in the Pantoums are marvelous!
Sestina is just around the corner, come on, come on –
the view from the summit of the Cento
is a new word we haven’t learnt before today!

Below is our leader Francesco Levato;
He stands far enough away to be objective,
close enough to keep us from falling off the page.

- Louise L.

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Inspiring and enlightening

Barbara Barg’s Pulse Poem Pulse is as much fun as kindergarten and as inspiring and enlightening as a graduate school seminar.  Exploring sounds and rhythms in poetry and in the world around me gave me a brand new and exciting perspective; I learned to hear the music and feel the pulse of the poetry beneath, behind and beyond the words.  My work is more alive than it has ever been, and Barbara gave me enough ideas to keep me going for a long time. Take this course!

- Jan T.

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I would recommend it for any level of experience

I took the Poetics 1 course at the Chicago School of Poetics and although I am a published poet with a chapbook to my credit, I found the class stimulating. The instructor and other class members all contributed. One of the poems I wrote in the class has already been accepted for publication. I would recommend it for any level of experience.

- Kathleen N.

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