A Poe Pondering: ‘Reading Poems as Theatre’

Speaker: Tom Gardner, Ph.D.

Cube, Moss Arts Center | Interdisciplinary Events

November 1, 2018 at 5:30pm

Poems are accounts of what Wallace Stevens calls "the mind in the act of finding / what will suffice." What we do when we read is re-enact that action, performing the poem for ourselves by connecting image to image or turn to turn, tracing the way an inner state is gradually clarified and explored. Poems give us instructions for re-enacting those inner movements, and as we "do" them with our own minds and bodies, on our own or with others, we come to understand how a poem fits together as a coherent action: we "get" it. We'll look at examples of this by Elizabeth Bishop and Emily Dickinson.

Tom Gardner is Alumni Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech. He writes about Modern and Contemporary Poetry and regularly attempts to bring poetry and its charged ways of thinking into conversations in other fields. In 2004, he worked with members of the Theatre Department to bring the work of reading poems to the stage in a piece called Ear, and I, and Silence.

Join us for additional Poe’s Shadows events!

Oct. 31- Nov. 4 - Poe’s Shadows: An Immersive Theatrical Installation

Oct. 31, 12 noon - A Poe Pondering: “Spatial Audio from Measurement to Reproduction”
Speaker: Mike Roan, Ph.D.

Oct. 31, 5:30pm - A Poe Pondering: “Fearsome Stenches and Whiffs of Disease”
Speaker: Melanie A. Kiechle, Ph.D.

Oct. 31, 7:30pm - A Poe Pondering: “Edgar Allan Poe as a Virginia Writer”
Speaker: Ashley Reed, Ph.D.

Nov. 1, 12 noon - A Poe Pondering: “Cognitive Disruption in the VR Experience” 
Speakers: Chris Miller, Todd Ogle, Ph.D., and Dillon Cutaiar


“Poe Ponderings,” a free series of short talks held in conjunction with Poe’s Shadows. All talks will be approximately 15 minutes long and will be held in the Moss Arts Center lobby, by the mural wall.

To make a gift to the School of Performing Arts visit the link below. Designate your gift to the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Once you select the College a secondary field will open and you may then designate the School of Performing Arts.

Make a Gift
load indicator