On Kyger's 'When I used to focus on the worries'

Video recording of a collaborative close reading

On January 17, 2016, I met up with about 60 people at the Center for the Book in San Francisco to talk collaboratively about a poem by Joanne Kyger that goes by its first line, "When I used to focus on the worries." I had traveled with Zach Carduner and Chris Martin and they managed to bring along their recording equipment and have produced a video of high quality — notwithstanding the rather impromptu arrangement. The poem and the close-reading video will both be added to the supplemental syllabus called "ModPoPLUS," which is part of "ModPo," the open, free, non-credit online course on modern and contemporary U.S. poetry that starts its next 10-week run on September 10, 2016. (To pre-enroll — again, it's free — just go here.) I want to shout out also to Callie Ward, a long-time friend of the Writers House and literary genius, who is now at Stanford and joined us for this session. And to Duff Axsom, a member of the Board of the Center for the Book, who has brought ModPo and the Center together.

Here is a link to the text of the poem: LINK TO TEXT.