|Poet Claudia Rankine included a poem by GW student Marissa Ciampi on her website.|
Recently Prof. Gregory Pardlo posted a piece here about the Theft of Flat Langston at the DC restaurant/literary spot Busboys and Poets.
Now he reports in about a GWU student’s contribution to a major discussion in the poetry world. The discussion was sparked by a panel at the February 2011 AWP Conference, at which poet Claudia Rankine discussed the implications of a Tony Hoagland poem that frankly articulates (for the sake of critiquing) racist views. In the original poem, Hoagland uses some provocative language to achieve the poem’s ends.
As Prof. Pardlo writes:
Hoagland’s strategy was attacked by Rankine, who felt he was reifying dead metaphors. Anyway, the controversy raged on well after the conference. Rankine later issued a call for contributions to her “Open Letter” on racism. I encouraged my students to think about the issues at stake and we had a discussion about it in workshop which resulted in one student, Marissa Ciampi, contributing to the open letter website! Here she is, between Marjorie Perloff and Martha Collins, and alongside many other established names in American poetry (click her name to read her submission).
We’re all proud of Marissa’s now published contribution to this debate. And kudos to Prof. Pardlo for teaching his students about how poetry and poets are involved in such important contemporary dialogues.