Matthea Harvey

BA, Harvard College. MFA, University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Poet, author of Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (Alice James Books, 2000); Sad Little Breathing Machine (Graywolf, 2004); Modern Life (Graywolf, 2007), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award, a New York Times Notable Book of 2008, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and a children’s book, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel (Soft Skull Press, 2007). Contributing editor for jubilat and BOMB. Has taught at Warren Wilson, the Pratt Institute, and the University of Houston. SLC, 2004–

Graduate Courses

Writing 2017-2018

Poetry Workshop: The Unknown

Workshop—Fall

What moves people’s hearts, in every case, is the unknown….If so, wouldn’t it be a good thing to unknow the world? —Kenya Hara

This is a class about curiosity and inquisitiveness, about walking forward into the unknown and backward into the unknown. We will read texts in this vein, taking inspiration from Kenya Hara’s design text, Ex-formation, and Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit. Students will be expected to undertake biweekly, class-created writing experiments, such as: “Go to a part of the city that you’ve never been to before. Spend one hour on a bench looking only at people’s feet. Write a poem.” Texts and themes will include: Ex-formation by Kenya Hara, Grapefruit by Yoko Ono, Time/Here by Richard McGuire, Animals/What did We Do Wrong? by Fanny Howe, Love Love, an Index by Rebecca Lindenberg, Language/Look by Solmaz Sharif, Size/Complete Minimal Poems by Aram Saroyan, and Sleep/A Pillow Book by Suzanne Buffam.
Faculty

Previous Courses

The Unknown: Poetry Workshop

Workshop—Fall

What moves people’s hearts, in every case, is the unknown…. If so, wouldn’t it be a good thing to unknow the world? —Kenya Hara

This is a class about curiosity and inquisitiveness, about walking forward into the unknown and backward into the unknown. We will read texts in this vein, taking inspiration from Kenya Hara’s design text, Ex-formation, and Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit. Students will be expected to undertake biweekly ,class-created writing experiments, such as: Go to a part of the city that you’ve never been to before. Spend one hour on a bench looking only at people’s feet. Write a poem. Texts and themes will include: Ex-formation by Kenya Hara, Grapefruit by Yoko Ono, Time/Here by Richard McGuire, Animals/What did We Do Wrong? by Fanny Howe, Love/Love, an Index by Rebecca Lindenberg, Language/Look by Solmaz Sharif, Size/Complete Minimal Poems by Aram Saroyan, and Sleep/A Pillow Book by Suzanne Buffam.

Faculty

Checkpoint Fact/Lyric

Open , Seminar—Spring

In this class, we will look at the use of facts as springboards for poems and lyric essays. We will examine how facts can be transformed, distorted, and framed by the various filters that we use as poets (imagination, diction, formal strategies, etc). The course will be framed by readings from Things That Are by Amy Leach. We will also discuss Revolver by Robyn Schiff, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, Brain Fever by Kimiko Hahn, and Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald, along with selected lyric essays. For the conference project, students will choose an area of research (a historical figure, a cartoon character, news articles, etc.) and, stemming from their investigations, write a long poem, a series of poems, or an essay that straddles poetry and prose.

Faculty

Poetry Workshop--Checkpoint Fact/Lyric

Workshop—Fall

In this class, we will look at the use of facts as the spring boards for poems and lyric essays. We will examine how facts can be transformed, distorted and framed by the various filters we use as poets (imagination, diction, formal strategies, etc). The course will be framed by readings from Things That Are by Amy Leach. We will also discuss Revolver by Robyn Schiff, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, Brain Fever by Kimiko Hahn, and Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald along with selected lyric essays. For their conference project students will choose an area of research (a historical figure, a cartoon character, news articles, etc.) and write a long poem, a series of poems, or an essay that straddles poetry and prose stemming from their investigations.

Faculty

Poetry Workshop

Workshop—Fall

"Metamorphosis is a painful process. I imagine the exquisite agony of the caterpillar turning itself into a butterfly, pushing out eye-stalks, pounding its fat-cells into iridescent wing-dust, at last cracking the mother-of-pearl sheath and staggering upright on sticky, hair's-breadth legs, drunken, gasping, dazed by the light." -from The Untouchable by John Banville

In this poetry workshop we will rigorously attend each poem's metamorphosis, paying attention to whether it wants to sprout wings, antlers, both or neither. We will try to plot out the poem's most unique path according to the signposts the rough draft gives us. Our focus will be both minute and broad—examining poems on a cellular level, then talking about larger issues, like autobiography, science and poetry, compositional techniques… We will also read a number of books of contemporary poetry (by such authors as Anne Carson, Brenda Shaughnessy, Jen Bervin, Jeffrey Yang, and Kevin Young). Students will be asked to extrapolate from these works-detailing the elasticities and limits of each poetic voice in order to further develop their own.

Faculty