(W)hole: Poetry of Omission


Juan Deleon’s  “Omission” 

Juan Deleon’s  “Omission” 

Poetry of omission does not seek to create a riddle where the reader must present some key to understand our writing, but instead seeks to create meaning in the whitespace and provide the reader an active and immersive poetry experience. What is being said by what is left out? 

What a poet chooses to leave out of a poem — location, nouns, the literal truth, even the poet’s identity — is just as important as what happens on the page. These omissions can be likened to the gutter between the panels of a comic, wherein the reader must actively fill in gaps to help the artist create a succinct story. Just what is omitted is a conscious artistic choice.

We will explore the text, subtext, and non-text of Lara Glenum, Raul Zurita, Jorge Luis Borges, Cole Swenson, and others. 

In addition to reading and analyzing these projects of omission, students will explore different types of omission through exercises and writing prompts, some of which will be shared and workshopped by the class. In workshopping these students will navigate the difficulties of writing poetry defined largely by what it lacks. How can poets avoid the riddle and explore the whitespace with the constructive ambiguity of omission?

Teaching Artist: Heather Knox
Four Weeks / $225