“Who Is ‘Nature’?” A Generative Master Class with D. Nurkse in person at HVWC
December 10 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
A generation ago, Bertold Brecht claimed that to talk about a tree was a betrayal because it was to be silent about injustice. Now a “nature” poem cuts to our survival and the most intimate meanings of justice. We will look at poems that see “nature” from radically different angles –the Biblical view that we are stewards of the animal kingdom as critiqued by W.S. Merwin, the poet Issa’s ironic Buddhism, Lucille Clifton, First Nation poets including Joy Harjo and dg nanouk okpik, maybe some of my own persona work, and the exemplaryWendell Berry. This workshop is interactive within the constraints of class size–there will be space for a free write and discussion of participants’ own work.
NB: This class will be taught in person at HVWC and will be capped at 10 students. Registrants will receive a packet of poems at address they use to register. Please review the course policies page before registering for any classes. Please email ask @writerscenter.org with any questions. The scholarship application for the Altman Person of Color Scholarships, Limp Wrist LGBTQIA+ Scholarships, and the Need-Based Scholarships will be available on May 1 and will be due on May 15 for all summer and fall classes.D. Nurkse is the author of twelve collections of poetry, most recently A COUNTRY OF STRANGERS (a “new and selected”), LOVE IN THE LAST DAYS: AFTER TRISTAN AND ISEULT, A NIGHT IN BROOKLYN, THE BORDER KINGDOM, BURNT ISLAND, and THE FALL, from Alfred Knopf. He’s the recipient of a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, the Whiting Writers Award, and prizes from The Poetry Foundation and the Tanne Foundation. He served as poet laureate of Brooklyn from 1996 to 2001. His work has been translated into French, Russian, Italian, Estonian, and other languages. In 2011, a third edition of VOICES OVER WATER, an earlier collection, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best book of poetry published in the U.K. The publisher, CB Editions, London, also brought out a British edition of A NIGHT IN BROOKLYN.
His work has been reviewed in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, The Times Literary Supplement (UK), The Guardian (UK), Poetry London (UK), The Hudson Review, the Los Angeles Times, and other venues. His poems have been anthologized in six editions of the Best American Poetry series and received three Pushcart Prizes.
Nurkse has also written on human rights and was elected to the board of Amnesty International-USA for a 2007-2010 term. He was a program officer for the U.S. section of the Geneva-based NGO Defence for Children International from 1988 to 1992 and was associate editor of CHILDREN UNDER APARTHEID. He worked as a consultant for UNICEF. His study AT SPECIAL RISK: THE IMPACT OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE ON MINORS IN HAITI was commissioned by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
Nurkse has taught poetry at Rikers Island Correctional Facility and in inner-city literacy programs, as well as at MFA programs at Rutgers, Brooklyn College, and Stonecoast. For the Brooklyn Public Library, he edited THIS BEAUTIFUL NAME IS MINE, poems by inner-city children. He’s currently a long-term member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife the writer Beth Bosworth, and the wild puppy Zephyr.