Student Post: Stephanie Dissette on Adrianne Kalfopoulou

24, May 2010 § Leave a comment

On Friday, May 14th, the Aegean Center hosted another poetry reading by Adrianne Kalfopoulou. She read poems from her newest book, Passion Maps, which explores a variety of themes, including nostalgia and biculturalism.

After the reading, Adrianne met with the poets in the creative writing class for a special workshop. She had suggested we each bring two poems, which she then took us through, line by line, analyzing as she went.

She made a point of urging all of us to work within as many forms as possible, stating that “learning form is like learning a language; it gives you more options.” Adrianne is mostly a free-verse poet herself, but still practices within form as much as possible. More often than not, she would cut out pieces of our poems, in hopes to add to the “immediacy” of our work. She suggests that all poets try removing all the prepositional phrases in their poems as a way to improve that sense of immediacy, even if you end up putting them back in. It’s a good exercise, and all of us felt its impact on our poems.

Adrianne also helped explain the role of the title in poetry, something we were all struggling with. She said that the title is “the extra line that you get in your poem.” If you choose to leave a poem untitled it means “either it’s beyond you, or a title would limit the poem because it has so many options.” Titling prose and poetry is still one of the hardest things for all of the members of our workshop to do.

We all found Ms. Kalfopoulou to be very relatable, a helpful editor and a wonderful writer. It was special to all of us to meet with her for some workshop time, and I think it’s safe to say the Center will be happy to have her back again to read in future semesters.

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