Conference on Poetry and Teaching associate director Teresa Carson is the associate publisher at CavanKerry Press and the assistant director of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. She holds an MFA in Poetry and an MFA in Theatre, both from Sarah Lawrence College. She has also published a full-length book of poetry, Elegy for the Floater (CavanKerry Press, 2008) and a chapbook of poems, The Congress of Human Oddities (VV-UC, 2012). Her latest full-length collection, My Crooked House, is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press in May 2014.
Read a poem by Teresa here.
Teaching Statement: Inside the Conference for Poetry and Teaching and outside of it, Dawn Potter and I talk a lot about the Conversation of poetry—the conversation that began with the first poem ever written and continues in a poem being written at this moment—and how the big Conversation is made up of a multitude of smaller conversations. What we also talk about a lot, because it is an important but often overlooked point, is that not every smaller conversation speaks to every reader. Someone says, “I don’t like/get poetry” when what she really means is, “I don’t like/get Walt Whitman’s poems.” But maybe she would like/get Jack Wiler’s or Robert Browning’s poems. My job is to help others find the poetry conversations that speak to them and, by doing so, invite them to join the Conversation. I work primarily with adults—e.g. in life-long learning situations and in medical schools—who bring a lifetime of prejudices about poetry into the room. I don’t believe in dumbing down poetry as a way of making it more accessible; I do believe in guiding people through poems as a way of making poetry more accessible.