[Wgcp-whc] sessions for this semester

Richard Deming richard.deming at yale.edu
Fri Jan 11 13:07:09 EST 2013

Dear Friends,


Welcome to a new semester and a new year.  May we all duck the flu that is sweeping the nation.

 I wanted to send a note to let everyone know when sessions for the Group in Poetics will be occurring this semester.  These dates are also posted on our blog, which is found here:



Our intercontinental pull will be evident again as we bring to campus a New Yorker educated abroad, an American in Paris, and a Canadian in France. We will have three back-to-back sessions early on, but this is to accommodate our guests’ international travel

 We begin the semester with a pair of sessions devoted to David Lehman, poet/literary and cultural critic/editor.  Truly an influential force in poetry, Lehman is the author of numerous books and is the general editor of the annual Best American Poetry series.  He is also another writer connected to what might be known as the second generation of the New York School (one of two such writers we are bringing to campus this semester), a recurring focus of the WGCP.   We will focus our attention on Lehman’s most recent collection, Yeshiva Boys.  We have ordered copies to be distributed and hoped that these would arrive this week, but alas that isn’t the case.  When they appear I will make an announcement. But there actually exists a “trailer” for the book that can be viewed here: http://bookscreening.com/2009/10/25/yeshiva-boys-by-david-lehman/

Here's the book's jacket copy:


David Lehman, a poet of wit, ingenuity, and formidable skill, draws upon his heritage as a grandson of Holocaust victims and offers a stirring autobiographical collection of poems that is his most ambitious work to date. It covers an expansive range of subjects -- from love, sex, and romance to repentance, humility, the meaning of democracy, Existentialism, modern European history, military intelligence, and the rituals associated with faith and prayer. The title poem, "Yeshiva Boys," is a work in twelve parts that blends the elements of espionage fiction, memory, history, and moral philosophy. It reflects David's experience as a student in an orthodox Yeshiva, and it, along with many other poems in the book, explores what it means to be a Jew in America, what is gained and lost in assimilating to secular culture, how to understand the peculiar destiny of the Jewish people, and how to reconcile the existence of God with the knowledge of evil. Beautiful, provocative, and accessible, this is David Lehman's most inspired collection. 


Our dates are as follows:


1/25—Discussion of David Lehman’s Yeshiva Boys

2/8—Visit from David Lehman

2/15— Discussion of Lisa Roberston’s R’s Boat

3/1—  Visit by Robertson

4/4—Discussion of the work of Alice Notley

4/19—Visit by Notley


 Our sessions are always on Fridays and they run from 3-5 PM and are held in rm B04 in the basement of Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center.  All are welcome to attend, so please feel free to pass word of the sessions of this open seminar to any interested parties.


Onward with every good hope for 2013,

Richard Deming, Group Coordinator and part-time optimist 
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