Negative Capability: Semester Mantra, Spring 2016

John Keats defines negative capability as the moment when one “is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.” Difficult to do, but this semester, more than any other, I hope students linger in this space. I am teaching a course on Emily Dickinson. …

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The Witchcraft of Geometry & Muhammad Ali’s “ME / WE”

Known for her angles, circumferences, and slants, it is no wonder Emily Dickinson wrote “Best Witchcraft is Geometry / To the magician’s mind” (1158). M. C. Escher would agree. But I am more interested, at the moment, in the spellbinding power of what is known as the shortest poem ever …

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“For Occupation – This -”: The Legacy of Emily Dickinson’s Ecopoetics

In This Compost, Jed Rasula explores how the trope is “poetry’s composting medium” (9). This succinct statement powerfully directs our imagination to see how a recurring image, for instance, folds all previous images back into itself, composting them, and therefore becoming a fecund site full of biological synergy, so to …

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Publication of “Toward a Zoopolis”

“Toward a Zoopolis: Animal Poiesis and the Poetry of Emily Dickinson and Brenda Hillman” is now published in the section on Animality and Ecocriticism, guest edited by Scott Slovic, in the online journal Forum for World Literature Studies (Volume 6, Issue 1, 2014).  In the introduction to the section, Slovic …

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