Priscilla Orr

A Leap into the Void:  Craft, Imagination & Duende



In Lorca’s essay, “Theory and Play of the Duende”, he argues that the angel (light) and the Muse (inspiration), are not the source of an art’s real power.  Instead, duende is key.  He uses Goethe’s definition: ‘A mysterious force that everyone feels and no philosopher has explained.’  We recognize this in the poems that move us even though it’s hard to articulate. 

Participants in this workshop will look at ways of accessing that force, as we examine poems and poem drafts written by others. Once we feel we’re on solid footing, we will turn to our own work. For this part of the workshop, please bring a poem draft in which you feel stuck or would like to take to a deeper level.  Please bring three copies of the poem.  We’ll be working in triads and applying some of the techniques discussed in the first part of the workshop.  Then we’ll have time to come together at the end to share our experiences with the larger group.