The “Program” is pretty wonderful in the sense that it is different for every student. (We offer poetry, nonfic, fiction (short+long), dramatic writing….) I mean, every student’s area of study is already crazily varied and uberspecific and heart-felt. Have a look at some examples here. Three integral parts about Literature (and CW) at Bennington are the teachers, our 'Read well to write well" philosophy, and the students. There’s a lot to say on this, so rather than take up your whole dashboard, click below for tha scoop.
We did the soft wind.
We danst slowly. We swrld
Aroned. We danst soft.
We lisin to the mozik.
We danst to the mozik.
We made personal space.
When asked by Yahoo News about the poem, Michael had this to say (rather eloquently may I add):
"I loved it! It captured the truth about personal space. The misspellings make it more primal and deliberate. At the end there’s an epiphany about dancing and what that means."
Primal. Deliberate. Epiphany. Admissions Intern Carlos ‘14 approves of this review. But wait, dear reader, there’s more:
"This poem, to me, coming from a first-grader, has so much spark and originality. Anytime you put a word on the page, you are making a choice.”
Did you guys feel chills down your spine yet? Because I did. Did you hear the metaphorical crow erupt in cheers as Michael casually hits his review out of the ball park? Because I did. And as I write these words down, I too, remember, that I am MAKING. A. CHOICE.
One of our admissions interns Ben just won the 2014 Bennington College Academy of American Poets Prize!
Here is the academy award winning poem for you all to enjoy:
We have programming in all ranges of poetry (and writing in general) — contemporary, archaic, and otherwise — the lit faculty work hard to balance the curriculum each term. The Poets at Bennington Series lends itself to the contemporary, since we can’t ask dead poets to come talk and teach here (I mean we can ask…but…turns out no matter how much you knock on Frost’s grave, he just doesn’t respond…the nerve…)
I wouldn’t say any particular “style” is taught to students here…unless you consider being truthful a style.
— Parke ‘15
Hello and hi,
Honestly, the best way to describe the poetry program at Bennington might very well be “all inclusive”. In my four years here, I’ve studied Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Whitman’s self-representation in Leaves of Grass, Olena Kalytiak Davis’ work, Jericho Brown, Dean Young’s poems and essays, CD Wright, Alex DImitrov’s use of social media platforms in poetic contexts and so much in between. There are courses with more direct focuses, like this term’s Dickinson & Whitman class, but there are also classes that address broader questions, like The Making of a Poem course taught this past fall, where, through contemporary texts, we analyzed what it means to make poetry, what poetry’s function or purpose is, and how it reaches its “goal”.
I should also mention that the Poetry at Bennington program is always taught in conjunction with at least one poetry class. Visiting poets have a short residency including a reading, lecture, and Q&A session, and from time to time, students are able to workshop their poems 1-on-1 with the visiting poets.
(Also,can you send us your favorite Dickman poem? I’ve never heard of them. )
First of all, brag wear is not the best term. Fall term is the best term because the leaves are changing on campus and also we have so many excited new students who breathe life into the campus just as it is physically dying because of autumn’s awe-inspiring cruelty. Oh, New England your coarse terrain inspires me to take courses as rigorous as your terrain is coarse.
Also, here is a link to our bookstore.
A blog for Bennington writers past and present.
Check the feature here…
and the tumblr here.
I’ve only taken one philosophy class — Global Ethics / Global Justice — but it was a good time and you know what? I’d recommend it. There are a wide range of topics in philosophy, from contemporary ethics and political philosophy to the ancient Greeks. Check out our course offerings here, I think that’s the best way to get a sense of the department. But really the ‘program’ is just the teachers and you can check them out here: we have two core faculty, Paul and Karen — get a sense of what work they’ve done, but also their physical appearances. Look at Karen’s cool cup! You can’t tell from the picture, but Paul has a cool accent. I think our discussion-based courses are perfect for philosophy; Paul likes to force people to take allegiances and then argue with one another in a way that isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Seniors in philosophy have the opportunity to workshop a massive original thesis of their own in a small class setting.
So basically everything Alan said about philosophy holds true for Literature as well. All the professors are published authors, so you should go read their books. I recommend Annabel’s The Fox’s Walk. Check out the courses offered here. Courses usually focus on a particular style, time period, or group of authors. For example, I’ve taken Lit + Philosophy of Innocence, Literary Diaries and Journals, Lit of WWI, Reading and Writing Satire, and next term I’m taking Honors Seminar on Orwell. Like Philosophy, you can be part of a senior projects class where you and your fellow senior lit nerds will workshop your respective theses, lyric essays, novels, or collections of poems. Get at me if you’ve got more specific questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I answered this question in a really pretentious way a few months ago, but its still worth reading. I’ll be a bit more pragmatic this time around.
Our literature faculty is awesome. They have a wide range of expertise and are constantly coming up with interesting course offerings that keep us engaged. You’ll never take “Survey of American Literature”, instead you’ll be in “Fitzgerald and Hemmingway” or my favorite example “If this be a Man: Italian Writers Under the Nazis” (Take that class. Just take it.) The emphasis is on learning to read well, and you will. All of the faculty members read a little differently and emphasize different things. Because each approaches novels differently, you’ll naturally fall in with some favorites that you jive with, but its great to step outside your comfort zone. The more you do, the more holistic your own approach will be. Having said that, I actually just want to study with Kathleen Dimmick until the end of time. After learning to read well, you can explore some of the upper level writing courses, like “Reading and Writing the Short Story”, or “Reading and Writing Poetry”. As a senior, you’ll complete advanced work: a thesis, poems, short stories or a novel. And it will be so much fun.
On top of that, all of our literature faculty are accomplished authors, writers and poets…here is Michael Dumanis reading some of his original work: