Poetry of the Unexpected (now taking nominations)

As I sit here sifting through all the stuff I didn't get done over the long Thanksgiving weekend, I must take a moment to remember how much I love my job. One reason: because I get to create classes like this: MFA Craft & Theory: Poetry of the Unexpected.

It's for Fall 08. I'm going to do a C&T on strangeness in contemporary poetry, whether it's absurd humor, surrealist twists, or good old fashioned bizarre imagery. I'd been thinking about doing place, or sex + violence, or even pedagogy, but this sounds like the most fun. I am definitely using this and this, which I really wanted to steal from Adam, but didn't.

Do you have suggestions, dear readers? The books don't have to be totally inscrutable, since we'll have all kinds of MFA students and preferences. I'm just looking for some strange stuff I may not have encountered yet. I've already taught these ones.

After 8+ years of being "that freaky girl" in workshops, I thought it was time to give poets of the unexpected their due. Maybe we'll begin each session with a collective wail of I DON'T GET IT!

I'm not adopting this book (or a snake), but it sure takes the cake for good title.


Gabe Gudding's A Defense of Poetry.
The Hounds of No by Lara Glenum
Penultimatina said…
Thanks guys! Keep 'em coming.
Karen J. Weyant said…
Hmmm...I'm in my office thinking of my poetry bookshelf at home. The only book I can think of that may work is Kinky by Denise Duhamel. But I am looking forward to the completed list!
garylmcdowell said…
Some ideas, which may or may not be good ideas:

Curves to the Apple by Rosmarie Waldrop

The Wind, Master Cherry, the Wind by Larissa Szporluk

Deepstep Come Shining by C.D. Wright

The Man Suit by Zachary Schomburg

any of Maurice Manning's 3 books

Fence Above the Sea by Brigitte Byrd
Adam Deutsch said…
Laurel Snyder's The Myth of the Simple Machines.
oh this class is going to be great.
wickedpen said…
Definitely the Glenum book, and The Babies by Sabrina Orah Mark..
Stephanie King said…
Landscapes I and II by Lesle Lewis
Talia said…
I went to a reading last night: http://taliatulledge.blogspot.com/2007/11/poetry-reading-or-was-it.html

So, I suggest "Hitler's Mustache" by Peter Davis.
Louise said…
Hi Mary- I second the suggestion for CD Wright's Deepstep Come Shining-- it's such a liberating book somehow. Makes you think and feel you can do anything.

Louise Mathias
Amy said…
Harryette Mullen.
Brent Goodman said…
No Accident : Aaron Anstett
Centuries : Joel Brouwer
The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel
Pamela said…
Lynn Emanuel: The Dig/Hotel Fiesta double book. I would love to teach (or be taught) her work!

Word Verification: dgdig
Sandra said…
Jason Bredle is a great pick, and I second the suggestion of Peter Davis's book. This sounds like a REALLY fun class.

Maybe Josh Bell's No Planets Strike? His "Ramona" poems are great, and he invokes a lot of surreal icons--mermaids, the undead, and Atlanta (of the Greek myth, not the peach state).
jeannine said…
I really liked Matthea Harvey's Modern Life, which might fit in well...
Hugs! Again, wish I could have been in one of your classes...such cool reading lists!
How about Karen Volkman's Spar?