“Retiree” Returns to Work

Well, this “retiree” is back at work! I’m teaching the Intermediate Poetry Writing course this fall I have a great gang of poets in there including my philosophy professor pal Jim Allis. He enables me to say things like “Oh, that ontological move you made from the Aristotelian assumption of reality to the Platonic reality of reality which then implies a Buber-influenced relational reality just blew me away!” And the students with their affirmation of one another’s work have taken a conventional classroom and have transformed it into a safe and creative space. We get to hang out and talk about poems.

The second edition of Approaching Literature (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press) that Peter Schakel and I wrote will be out soon along with a new edition of our 250 Poems. Approaching Literature, we think/hope, is a richer book than the first time around. I’ve loved working with Peter. We’re a great good team, able to bring our very different strengths to the book. It was funny—at first, I kept worrying that I was having all the fun while Peter was doing the work I would not enjoy. Then we found out that each of us was concerned about that for the other. We were able to harmonize what each of us brought to the project. We always signed off our emails to one another with “On we go.” And on we went until, after two years of all but daily work we met the deadline.

Here’s something cheerful: You should all check out Julie’s knitting blog: knittingjuju.wordpress.com what she’s designed and knitted are now showing up all over the knitting globe, and I do mean globe. Wait’ll you see the sweater she made for me. I’ve reached the age where I could live in autumn in that sweater all year.

One thought on ““Retiree” Returns to Work

  1. Jack…Reading about your intermediate class makes me wish I could teleport myself to the dungeon for some good old creating and celebrating. Want to teach a sattelite version in South Africa?! Miss you and Julie–give each other a BIG hug for me! Enjoy the crisp, cozy autumn as it arrives…

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