Cynthia Cruz

Undergraduate Discipline

Writing

BA, Mills College. MFA, Sarah Lawrence College. Poet; author of Ruin (Alice James Books, 2006) and The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012); recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. Work published in Isn’t it Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (Wave Books, 2004) and The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (The University of Iowa Press, 2004). SLC 2008–

Current undergraduate courses

The Archive and Consumption: A Poetry Writing Workshop

Year

“All enjoyment, all taking in and assimilation, is eating, or rather, eating is nothing other than assimilation.” —Novalis

In this poetry workshop, we will look at the work of poets whose work explores and/or enacts “the archive” and/or “consumption.” Desire is connected to the archive and consumption (taking in, collecting, hoarding, devouring, and cannibalism), as well as the refusal of consumption (protest and rebellion, silence, stutter, hesitation, and space). These ideas will be studied and discussed as we utilize in our own writing various techniques culled from these worlds. In addition to poetic works, we will also look to fashion, visual art, philosophy, film, and fiction. In writing workshop and in conference, we will look at ways that we can use ideas of the archive and consumption in our poetry.

Faculty

Previous courses

On Beauty: A Poetry Workshop

Year

In this poetry workshop, we will learn the fundamentals of poetic craft thorough the lens of beauty. The class will be a lab, of sorts, where we will explore this topic while also making work using and contorting beauty. We will look at the work of poets whose work engages with beauty in some way, as well as read and discuss writings on beauty by philosophers, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers, along with examples of beauty in visual art, film, and fashion. In addition, we may watch films, or excerpts from film, and visit galleries and museums in New York City. Expect to write one poem per week for workshop; read and write brief responses to assigned weekly readings; work in small groups, as well as in the larger, workshop group; and engage in lively and engaging classroom discussions.

Faculty

PLAY: Poetry Workshop

Fall

With the spirit of play in mind, we will read and workshop our own poems, as well as read and discuss the work of published poets for inspiration and direction. We will utilize writing exercises/writing games to help us generate work. We will look at the work of artists and writers who have invoked play. Artists and writers we will discuss may include Mike Kelley, Albert Oehlen, Martin Kippenberger, Eileen Myles, Maggie Nelson, and Mary Ruefle. In workshop, we will learn how to use craft to make our poems come to life and practice finding a balance between the serious study of writing while infusing each class with a sense of fun. We will travel to New York City for at least one outing, and at least one artist or writer will visit the class to discuss her or his artistic process.

Faculty

The Jeweled Lyric

Fall

This course explores the idea of the jeweled lyric poem. The lyric poem is a poem that utilizes the “I.” A “jeweled” lyric poem is a lyric poem that jewels “outside information” into the poem. Sometimes this is simply imagined; sometimes it is “outside historical or scientific.” We will read and study such works of poetry but also works that read as poetry but are not technically considered poetry, such as Clarice Lispector’s “Hour of the Star,” and Marguerite Duras’ short book, Writing. During the semester, we will try our hand at constructing such writing. We will go about this by critically reading and discussing examples of such works. Along with Duras and Lispector, readings may include work by Helen Cixous, Lucie Brock Broido, Tory Dent, Andy Mister, David Trinidad, Lily Wong, and Fanny Howe.

Faculty