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Juliana Spahr

Residency Sites: Port Townsend, WA

I am excited by the wide variety of forms and concerns of contemporary writing at the turn of the century, and as a teacher I am committed to representing and celebrating this range. I enjoy the exploratory and experimental forms of writing as much as I appreciate meditative and philosophical conventions. When teaching creative writing workshops, I often encourage students to experiment with and expand their writing styles by trying new forms.

I also urge students to think of their work as a book, or a project, rather than just one piece of writing after another. My primary interest in writing is in how it is an especially useful way of thinking or sorting through the world, so I like it when students bring outside concerns into their writing so as to expand their work outward beyond emotion or self exploration. In my own poetry, I explore a documentary poetics that is concerned with social realism but avoids the conventions of realist, naturalist, and confessional genres.

My work moves between lyricism, explanatory prose, and theoretical discussion.

Publications include: This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (University of California Press, 2004); Fuck You-Aloha-I Love You (Wesleyan University Press, 2001); Response won the National Poetry Series award in 1995 and is available from Sun & Moon Press.

In addition to poetry, I also write literary criticism; Everybody’s Autonomy: Connective Reading and Collective Identity was published by University of Alabama in 2001. And, I co-edit the journal Chain with Jena Osman.

Educational Background:

PhD in English Literature, SUNY at Buffalo; BA in Languages and Literatures, Bard College.