Mormonism and the Arts at the Berkeley Institute: Poetry




Today’s readings are:

“Wrestling with God: Invoking Scriptural Mythos and Language in LDS Literary Works” by James Goldberg

20 Poems from Fire in the Pasture edited by Tyler Chadwick


Please feel free to have your own seminar in the comments to this post.


Other posts in series:

Fiction (lit) — forthcoming

Fiction (sf/f) — forthcoming

4 thoughts on “Mormonism and the Arts at the Berkeley Institute: Poetry”

  1. I’m interested, Th., in how you used James’ essay during the discussion. I’m guessing you may have tapped into the categories he outlines in both the “Materials” and “Craft” sections. If so, how useful was his terminology for discussing texts in a classroom setting? Did they provide a productive lens through which to read the poems?

  2. .

    I’ll let you know how it goes tonight. My main interest with the essay is forming a sense of Why This Is Worth Doing before diving in, and providing a critical language to start from. Next week’s fiction class includes a similar essay as part of the reading.

  3. .


    Unfortunately, due to an email snafu, not everyone got the readings this week. Which was a pity because it made James’s essay trickier to discuss and most of the ancillary books I brought were irrelevant. But it was cool to hold up Out of the Mount and have one of the members of the class say oh, yeah, I’m in that. So that was cool.

    Between people who had printed off the Fire in the Pasture sampler (two), owned their own copy of the full book (two), or could pull it up on a device (several), we were able to discuss several of the poems by reading them in class then discussing them.

    We started with Neil Aitken’s “Conditional” which was a pretty big hit as the class is pretty heavy with geeks who appreciated its codey format. These people are Neil’s audience.

    Then we read Mark Bennion’s “Joseph Smith” which was a challenging slog at first but ended up providing us with an extremely fruitful discussion.

    We ended with Laverna Johnson’s “Oleander Snow from Yucca Flat” which was also great fun to discuss.

    All in all, a good evening.

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