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THE UNDER VOICE: Listening Like Jean Valentine
“Don’t listen to the words— / they’re only little shapes for what you’re saying,” Jean Valentine counsels us in her poem “As with rosy steps the morn,” from BREAK THE GLASS. Listening refines how we read AND how we write. A poem’s meaning emerges from what’s not said, its subtext, accruing over what’s said, the text itself. A poet’s overreliance on, and willfulness over, the text to convey meaning deprives a poem of its very function to reveal—first to the poet, then to the reader—the multiple discoverable meanings, and strips the poem of what precisely makes it a poem: what’s invisible to us, what language CAN'T capture. To celebrate the 87th birthday of Jean Valentine, whom we lost last December, we’ll explore how her signature concision and minimalism shapes her textual and subtextual meanings and then practice expressing our own “under voice.”

NOTE: The session's replay video will be emailed within 24 hours post-session, so you won’t miss anything if you can’t attend “live.”

MARJ HAHNE is a freelance editor and writing teacher, and a 2015 MFA graduate from the Rainier Writing Workshop, with a concentration in poetry. She has performed and taught at over 100 venues around the country, as well as been featured on public radio and television programs. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art exhibits, and dance performances. www.MarjHahne.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarjHahne / YouTube: https://bit.ly/2LxHUG2

Apr 27, 2021 06:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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