Ed Hirsch, Tony Hoagland, and Sasha West: Unpacking Poetry

THURSDAY, APRIL 16, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, AND THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 6:30–8:00 P.M. | C. G. Jung Center, 5200 Montrose Boulevard


REGISTRATION STILL OPEN FOR SASHA WEST ON APRIL 30TH. Participants in class will receive copies of Hirsch’s A Poet’s Glossary (2014) and Hoagland’s Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays (2013).

Poet Ed Hirsch writes that poetry is “an ancient and necessary instrument ofour humanity” and reflects that in a poem “what is said is always inseparable from the way it is being said.” Essayist and poet Tony Hoagland says “we need [poetry’s] aliveness, its respect for the subconscious, its willingness to entertain ambiguity; we need its plaintive truth-telling about the human condition and its imaginative exhibitions of linguistic freedom”. Sasha West speaks of “a readerly pleasure in peeling back layers, in noticing patterns across a whole, [and] in returning to the same landscapes or dilemmas at multiple points.” All see poetry as treasure and will help us unveil its mysteries and unpack its secrets. Join us for three evenings of enchantment with these acclaimed poets.

APRIL 16—Formerly a Houstonian, Ed Hirsch currently serves as president
of the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and lives in New York. As a
beloved member of the University of Houston Creative Writing faculty, he was a
tireless ambassador for poetry. His poetry publications include Wild Gratitude
(1986), On Love (1998), Lay Back the Darkness (2003), and most recently the
acclaimed Gabriel (2014). As the author of the bestseller How to Read a Poem
and Fall in Love with Poetry
(1999), his ability to inspire readers gained national
recognition. He has received numerous awards and fellowships that include
those from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the
National Endowment for the Arts.

APRIL 22—A part-time Houstonian and current professor in the University
of Houston Creative Writing Program, Tony Hoagland’s recently released
collection of essays, Twenty Poems That Could Save America (2013), presents
his passionate advocacy for the relevance of poetry in contemporary life and is
another example of his penchant for witty titles. His poetry volumes include
Unincorporated Personas in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010), What Narcissism
Means to Me
(2003), Donkey Gospel (1998), and Sweet Ruin (1992). Winner of
the 2005 Mark Twain Award in recognition of his contribution to humor in
American poetry, he has also received the Jackson Prize, the Hardison Prize,
and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

APRIL 30—Sasha West’s poems have appeared in the Southern Review, Ninth
Letter, Forklift, Ohio, Third Coast, Born
, and elsewhere. She holds graduate
degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Houston,
where she was editor of Gulf Coast. Her work has garnered awards including
scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Rice University’s Parks
Fellowship, Pushcart nominations, and Inprint’s Verlaine Prize. Her booklength
poem, Failure and I Bury the Body, won the 2012 National Poetry Series.
She lives in Austin with her husband and teaches writing at the University of
Texas’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.



Registration for fall 2018 is ongoing. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


If you are interested in traveling to Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy. 


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern on Wednesday, November 14 is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. A second session has been added and will meet Monday, November 12 from 2:00-3:30 P.M. Registrations are being accepted for November 12. You may register online, or by phone.


Who Gets to Vote: Challenges for the 2020 Elections?
Speaker: Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voter Rights Project
Monday, November 19, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Location to be announced


Register today!


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.