Participating Language: Introduction to Documentary Poetics


Documentary poetics has long motivated writing that strives to balance evidence with artistic transformation. As a practice, it may draw from any number of documents—from newspapers to personal journals, from science articles to interviews. Whatever the source, a project in documentary poetics often experiments with form, perspective, and material in order to express a subject deeply and make it tangible to an audience. With such a versatile definition you may wonder what distinguishes artistic documentary writing from other poetics—and this will be one of the central debates of the class. During the first part of the course we will explore a diverse range of models, visit the university archive, and undertake a series of short poetic exercises. Participants will then choose a subject and materials to research and explore in a sequence of experimental pieces of documentary writing. (12 hours/All Levels)

Andrea Applebee is a poet, essayist, and editor based in Durham. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Absent, Ditch, Ocean, Hot Metal Bridge, Boog City, and other magazines. In her work she has explored themes ranging from the nature of objects and the body to geology and weather, and is currently working on a manuscript grounded in the study of local plants. Applebee is an associate editor at Tupelo Quarterly and has taught critical and creative writing for the past six years with a focus on photography, philosophy, and poetics. Andrea grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended college at Davidson here in North Carolina. She holds an MFA in nonfiction and poetry from the University of Pittsburgh. See her website here.

Additional Information:
Class will not be held November 26.


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