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Tin House Summer Workshop Lectures: Patricia Smith, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Kaveh Akbar

July 8, 2019 @ 2:30 pm - 4:20 pm

Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202 + Google Map

2:30 pm-3:20 pm, Vollum Lecture Hall
Congratulations! You Are a Writer—Therefore, You Own the World, with Patricia Smith
For as long as there have been Moleskins, #2 pencils, Bics, keyboards, and imagination, there has been a feverish, high-decibel debate about who has the right to tell what story. Can a white, middle-aged man from Vermont do justice to the story of a young woman in the antebellum South? Can a sighted storyteller have a blind protagonist? What “qualifications” do we need in order to write across lines of race, region, religion, history, and ability?

3:30 pm – 4:20 pm, Vollum Lecture Hall
Revisiting Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, with Claire Vaye Watkins This lecture will reconsider Chopin’s classic novella through multiple critical lenses and wonder after the writer’s artistic legacy and her role as a (white) feminist foremother.

3:30 pm – 4:20 pm, Reed Chapel.
Sell Your Cleverness and Buy Bewilderment: On the Poetics of Wonder, with Kaveh Akbar
This lecture tracks a certain strand of poetics through human history, a poetics built upon bewilderment and awe—what G.K. Chesterton calls the ”vertigo of the infinite.” Much of our species’ richest poetry orbits this nucleus of wonder—wonder at being, at nature, at grief, love, memory, desire, loss, etc. From the Sumerian priestess Enheduanna to American visionary Marianne Moore, from Christopher Marlowe to Phyllis Wheatley, from Sappho to Szymborska, Rumi to Ross Gay, we will examine the human project of astonishment through its poetic record, wondering and wandering together through four millennia of ecstatic and bewildered verse.

Open to the public for a fee of $10 (Cash and Cards accepted at the door).


3203 SE Woodstock Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
+ Google Map


Tin House
Reed College