A young soldier dons Napoleon’s hat. An out-of-work man wanders Berlin, dreaming he is Peter the Great. The famous exile Dante finally returns to his native city to "hang his crown of laurels up." Familial and historical apparitions haunt this dazzling collection of poems by Will Schutt, the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets award. Schutt’s poems probe a vast emotional geography, and he expands their scope with elegant translations of works by some of Italy’s most prominent twentieth-century poets. Contest judge Carl Phillips calls Schutt’s debut volume "a book of uncommon wisdom," and he finds in the poems "Not only beauty, but a persuasive insight into what I call the lived life, the one that risks knowing what’s difficult, despite the sorrow that so often follows the knowing."
Thanks to J.D. McClatchy and Susan Bianconi for including two poems, The Book of Beginnings and Empty Space, in the April 2016 issue of the Yale Review.
I will be teaching a ten-week online poetry workshop from September 27-November 29 with OneRoom. The class is open to writers of all levels. For more information, see the class description below. To enroll and browse other classes, you can visit OneRoom's website.
"What do I remember that was shaped as this thing is shaped?"
In this class, writers of all levels will generate new work based on short readings of modern and contemporary poems by, among others, Frank Bidart, Marianne Boruch, Henri Cole, James Galvin and Brigit Pegeen Kelly. Think of it as a call-and-response workshop; weekly writing assignments will ask you not only to imitate stylistic features from the reading—meter, rhyme, image, digression, narrative, aborted narrative—but reflect upon their ideas and attempt to enlarge them. We will pay attention to the shapes and sounds of these poems as well as to their subjects and tones. Participants can expect to write several new poems, receive close feedback from the instructor and read great work. Each 2-hour session will be devoted to a brief discussion of the reading followed by a workshop.
Schutt received both an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship and PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant for his translations from Italian of the poetry of Edoardo Sanguineti. Congrats to all this year's winners.
Judges' citation from the PEN website:
Will Schutt for The Selected Poems of Edoardo Sanguineti. In his sparkling, playful and dynamic versions, Schutt introduces the English reader to the full sweep of Sanguineti’s protean oeuvre, from the neo-avantgardist of the early '60s to the more introspective romantic poet of the later years. This is the first comprehensive English translation of one of post-war Italy’s most important poets.
Readings and Events
About Will Schutt
Will Schutt is the author of Westerly (Yale University Press, 2013), selected by Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets award. A graduate of Oberlin College and Hollins University, he is the recipient of fellowships from the James Merrill House and the Stadler Center for Poetry. His poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Agni, FIELD, The New Republic, The Southern Review and elsewhere. He currently lives with his wife in Wainscott, New York.
If you would like to request an appearance or schedule a reading, please email Will Schutt with the pertinent details.