Keven Prufer teaches in the Poetry genre of the MFA in Creative Writing program.
"Like other art forms, poetry at its best is a kind of complex communication—a way one mind speaks to a multitude of minds, many of them not yet born. What attracts me to poetry particularly is not merely the way it compresses or asserts meaning, but the way a poem can hold multiple, often conflicting, meanings. The poems I admire are frequently born out of ambivalence—out of strong feelings or beliefs in conflicting directions. These poems ask difficult, vital human questions, but their object is not necessarily to answer these questions. They are, in fact, often unanswerable. Instead, they think about them with purpose and complexity, helping us reformulate them for ourselves."
Although Kevin loves to talk about the technical aspects of poetry writing—rhyme, meter, image, tone—Kevin generally approaches drafts of student poems with these 3 questions:
- What questions is this poem engaged with?
- How does it go about trying to think about these questions?
- How might it do so more successfully?