Where logic meets poetry: Savich leads Brown Bag for Writers’ Center

Kaitlyn Finchler
Staff writer

With a focus on logic and the greater mind, Zach Savich, author, poet and chair of liberal arts at the Cleveland Institute of Art and program faculty with the University of Arts PhD in Creativity, works to expand creativity through writing.


Savich, Week One’s poet-in-residence, will deliver his Brown Bag lecture at 12:15 p.m. today on the porch of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall to discuss logic and thinking in poetry.

“For lectures and workshops like this, I try to think about what will make the most of our time together,” Savich said. “It’s a gift to spend time with people in a focused way, thinking about poetry and art in our lives.”

In trying to select a topic to do this, Savich said logic is a way of thinking, but doesn’t include everything.

“Poetry is a way of thinking that includes emotions, metaphor, associations, the body and experiences that are really hard to put into words,” he said.

Within the span of logic, Savich said he’s also interested in the technical, nonfiction aspects of writing.

“I think I’m drawn to poetry as a way of thinking because it lets us mobilize ideas from psychology, from the science and from across the arts and to put them together into a form that becomes a new lens for thinking about experience,” he said. 

In his workshops, writers might not always be working in the same genre as Savich, but he said he loves to work with people from all different backgrounds. He said a good class develops like a good poem.

“You start off with some inspiration, and then things take their own course,” Savich said. “What I love is seeing how people in the room will start to influence one another, and how together, we will generate new ideas that go beyond what any of us came into the room with.”

Savich said he originally came into poetry as a way to stay interested in everything.

“(Poetry) allows you to pull from vocabularies, concepts, metaphors and fields of knowledge and put them together into new combinations,” he said. 

One of his more formative moments was when his professor at the University of Washington, Linda Bierds, said he had an eye for getting reactions.

“Linda sat me down once and said I was skilled at getting a certain reaction from my writing and now it was time to look for something deeper,” Savich said. “I think that looking for something deeper is key to what we can do together and the work we can offer to each other in programs like this.”


The author Kaitlyn Finchler

Kaitlyn Finchler is a journalism and public relations graduate from Kent State University as of May. This will be her second summer at Chautauqua where she will cover literary arts, serving previously as the Interfaith Lecture Series preview reporter. In her free time, you can find her reading, cooking or flipping between “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Gossip Girl.” She’s most excited to see how many times she can slip the word “plethora” into her stories before Sara makes her stop again.