Sarah Rose Nordgren Literary Craft Talk—Hybridity and Magical Thinking

Slonim Living Room / Stone Room

Open to the public

/ Tuesday


In the introduction to his book, Paris Spleen,—which is credited as being the first collection of modern prose poems—Charles Baudelaire writes to the editor Arsène Houssaye, “I send you here a little work of which no one could say that it has neither head nor tail, because, on the contrary, everything in it is both head and tail, alternately and reciprocally.” In this talk, Sarah Rose Nordgen will explore some of the ways in which writers have used hybridity—the blending and mixing of genres and modes—to grapple with and reconcile ideas and facts that seem to be at odds, thus creating an artistic space to contain basic human problems such as morality, identity, and chance. We will look at various examples from William Shakespeare to Claudia Rankine and discuss the role of magical thinking as artistic mode.

Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of Best Bones, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and Darwin’s Mother, both from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poems and essays appear widely in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review, and she creates intergenre video and text art in collaboration with Kathleen Kelley under the name Smart Snow. Nordgren is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati and an Associate Editor at 32 Poems.