Classy Talk with Bill Carty | Fall 2014

Posted Sun, 9/07/2014 - 2:33am by  |  Category:

Bill Carty newWhat is the title of your class?

Everyday Poets: An Intro to Contemporary Poems

What’s one thing you hope your students will take away from the class?

How about “one thing” that’s twofold? I hope we will recognize strategies that contemporary writers have used for approaching the quotidian, then engage in exercises that will enable us to write from these lessons.

What sorts of writers will you be reading/assigning in class? Why?

I came to this topic as a way to bridge a number of authors that I admire and think are instructive. I’m eager to discuss how Robyn Schiff’s poems engage with the strange world an object can create, or Victoria Chang’s use of Edward Hopper’s paintings, or how Rachel Zucker interacts with fables and cityscapes.

Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?

Yes, on facebook and twitter.

Are any of your works online and available to the public?


Phantom Limb


Poetry Northwest

New Orleans Review

Sixth Finch 1 2


What’s your teaching philosophy?

Coffee + curiosity? But really: let’s read, then write.

What advice do you have about getting into the habit of writing regularly?

I think habit comes from practice, and for me, this means engaging with poetry (reading, writing, revising) with enough frequency–whether that means at my desk, on a walk, in between classes—that I find myself being distracted to the work, rather than from it.

What are you working on right now? Where did the idea come from?

I’m working on a poem called, for now, “Huge Cloudy,” which comes from Keats’ “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be” sonnet. The motivation is very much that pre-autumnal sensation that soon the sky will be nothing more than a damp gray sweatshirt, a sweatshirt, given the current climate, likely emblazoned with a neon seahawk.

What’s your favorite word in the English vocabulary?

New favorite word category: wind. Mistral, sirocco, zephyr… do I have to choose one?

Let’s talk writing inspiration—what’s the No. 1 thing that drives you to write?

I love this line from Peter Sloterdijk: “For the duration of the bubble’s life the blower was outside himself.” I think this line encapsulates both the pleasure of creation and its fleeting nature, which, rather than representing an end, means it’s time to write again.