Influence and Inspiration: Mining Your Obsessions
Presented by Peter Cooley, Poet Laureate of Louisiana


1 to 4 p.m.
State Library

While all of us would like to subscribe to the Romantic notion of the poet as self-inspired seer, the truth is that we are all swimming side-by-side in a sea of influences: texts derive from texts.

Each workshop participant will be asked to bring in two poems for critique, a poem of his or her own which is inflected by another poet and a poem whose influences you can’t identify. Please bring twenty copies of each poem.

We will, in addition, write some poems together which derive from contemporary canonical models. The workshop leader will begin the writing session by sharing some of his poems which are “influenced” and “uninfluenced.”

To register for a 2016 Louisiana Book Festival WordShop, complete this form or call 225.219.9503.

Poet and editor Peter Cooley was born and raised in Detroit. He earned a BA at Shimer College, an MA at the University of Chicago, and a PhD at the University of Iowa. He is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Divine Margins (2009), A Place Made of Starlight (2003), and The Astonished Hours (1992). His poems have been widely anthologized in collections such as Best American Poetry (2002) and Poets on Place (2005).

Cooley served as poetry editor for the North American Review from 1970 to 2000. He has taught at Tulane University and the University of Wisconsin. He lives in New Orleans.

-- "Peter Cooley." Web. 16 Sep. 2016.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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