POETRY AND THE THIRD MUSE
How do our personal and family histories intersect with the larger collective histories of which we are a part? How are our lives shaped by those of the people who came before us and the times in which they lived? How were their lives shaped by those times? What does that imply about our own lives and times? As poets, how can we explore these questions in our work? How might we use research into history and biography to trigger our imaginations, enrich our poems, and inspire us to discoveries in our work? These are some the of questions we’ll explore as we look at poems by a number of poets for whom Clio, the muse of history, has been important, and consider various ways you might summon her in your own work.
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Susan Aizenberg's newest collection of poems is Quiet City (BkMk Press), featured in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry project. She also is the author of two previous collections, Muse (Crab Orchard Poetry Series/SIUP) and Peru (Take Three/2: AGNI New Poets Series/Graywolf) and co-editor, with Erin Belieu, of The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia UP). Her poems have appeared in such places as Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, The Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Spoon River Poetry Review. Her fellowships and awards include the Nebraska Book Award and Virginia Commonwealth University's Levis Prize for Muse, a Distinguished Artist Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council, the Mari Sandoz Award from the Nebraska Library Association, and a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner award. She recently retired from Creighton University in Omaha and now lives in Iowa City.