The Chautauqua Writers’ Center will welcome Philip Brady and Kevin Haworth as its writers-in-residence in Week Four. The two authors plan to focus on different conceptions of time with their students.
Brady and his students will look at how to create new work out of old poems, while Haworth and his students will discuss how to implement temporality into nonfiction.
Brady’s workshop is called “Old Traditions, New Poems,” and Haworth’s workshop is called “The Art of Time in Nonfiction.” Brady and Haworth will also give readings at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the porch of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall.
Brady is the author of three poetry collections, and his most recent book is To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet. He teaches at Youngstown State University.
One task Brady said he wants to accomplish with his students is creating a poetic community.
“When you bring poems into the public, in whatever capacity, you create bonds with your listeners through the agency of those poems,” Brady said. “That then resonates back into those poems. Your listeners and you are creating a kind of meta-communication.”
Brady said he’d like to awaken his students to language and remind them that it always has a poetic element. He and his students will look back at old poems — both their own work and others’ — which Brady said allows them to see “the genesis of new poems.”
“When we look at old poems, either our own or other people’s, we shouldn’t be seeing fixed things,” Brady said. “We should be seeing language that has been captured but still vibrating with possibilities.”
For Brady, working with others helps keep poetry fresh and alive.
“I enjoy the workshop enormously because it reminds me that all poetry is refracted through other people,” Brady said. “So whatever poem you hear, you might think you know it, but it always comes afresh.”
Haworth is the author of the novel The Discontinuity of Small Things and the essay collection Famous Drownings in Literary History. He serves on the faculty of the English Department at Carlow University, where he was named a 2016 NEA Fellow in Creative Writing.
He and his students will work on developing a sense of time in their nonfiction, an element Haworth feels is essential to the success of a piece.
“Without a strong sense of time, essays and books tend to lose energy, I find,” Haworth said.
Haworth said he and his students will look at various ways of dealing with time: handling multiple time periods, conveying longer periods of time and even slowing time down in a piece of writing.
“Thinking about the implications of those periods and how to manage them makes a big difference in nonfiction,” Haworth said.
Haworth hopes his students come out of the week with a few pieces of writing dealing with these different timeframes, and a stronger vocabulary for writing about time.
“If there’s no time, there’s no story,” Haworth said.
Haworth and Brady will also give Brown Bag lectures on the porch of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall during Week Four. Brady’s Brown Bag, called “Life Before the Alphabet: Learning to Write By Heart” will be at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, and Haworth’s Brown Bag, titled “Calendar, Zip Code and Season: Three Ways to Locate a Story” will be at 12:15 p.m. Friday.