Faculty, BFA in Creative Writing Program
Residency Site: Plainfield VT
A. Vizsolyi is the author of The Lamp with Wings: Love Sonnets, (HarperPerennial) winner of the National Poetry Series, selected by Ilya Kaminsky. He has two new books forthcoming, Crispin (Monk Books) and The Common Index of Poetic Lines (Paratext). He is also the author of the chapbooks, Notes on Melancholia (Monk Books) and The Case of Jane: A Verse Play (500places press), which was produced for Performa 13 and broadcast on National Public Radio. Vizsolyi’s work can be found in numerous journals, including The New Orleans Review, Narrative, Crazyhorse, Cream City Review, The Journal, Pleiades, The Burnside Review, Harpur Palate, Ninth Letter, Ploughshares, and Gulf Coast. He is also a collaborative artist and performs occasionally, with past performances at various locations in Brooklyn, Houston, and SUNY Binghamton. He lives in Brooklyn.
MFA in Creative Writing, New York University
BA in English Literature, Pennsylvania State University
Areas of Expertise
Poetry (main); Fiction; Nonfiction; Hybrid
“’Bough of a tree in the rain . . .’ he turns the phrase over in his mouth as if it were fine wine, trying to guess its vintage, realizing somewhat indifferently that it is beyond him.”
― László Krasznahorkai, Satantango
My journey, like many others’, began pathless. As an undergraduate I switched majors five times, before settling on English Literature. I’m not sure what it was I found there that spoke to me, maybe a line or two of Coleridge was enough to solidify my choice. In my sophomore year, I began to devour every book of poetry that the library had in its stacks, imitating the poems and poets that I admired. I studied rigorously the craft of my art and its formal origins, as Pound said a poet must. Without those years of formal training, I would not have been able to arrive at the more free and experimental poems of my graduate years. While pursuing my MFA at NYU, I studied with so many phenomenal poets and teachers, including Sharon Olds, Yusef Komunyakaa, Charles Simic, and Anne Carson.
And yet, there’s still that thing that cannot be taught. ‘What is that?’ I often ask myself. I’ve found that quote above speaks well to it and what it is we try to do as teachers of creative writing. Once I’ve provided students with all of the tools necessary for their craft and with feedback meant to encourage the kind of rigorous self-criticism that develops writing, how do I speak to the thing that is “beyond?” We can’t. I’ve found that, if we’re lucky, we find it the more we practice our art, whatever genre it may be. I encourage my students to develop real strategies for making the practice of their art an every day part of their lives. When a student graduates, I want them to continue the kind of study they began here at Goddard.
That’s one of the reasons I feel at home here at Goddard. The kind of self-directed study that the BFAW program encourages is what a writer must maintain throughout their career.
Research Interests: Poetry & Poetics; American Southern Gothic Fiction; Eastern European Literature; Science Fiction; Romantic Poetry; Asemic Poetry; Contemporary Fiction; Modernist Poetry; Literary Editing
- The Lamp with Wings: Love SonnetsHarper Perennial2011
- Notes on MelancholiaMonk Books