How to write about difficult material without using confessional poetry?

This week I was giving a talk for Black Lawrence Books about an essay I wrote for a new anthology, Far Villages: Welcome Essays for New and Beginning Poets edited by Abayomi Animashaun.

The talk was about the problem of needing to write about difficult material but not being able to because of the exposure of doing so. I recommend using dream language. It was something that was very effective for me as a young poet.

You can see the talk in the video below. You can see my part at 29 minutes in, but the whole thing is really worth watching as it talks about form and poetry. There’s an interesting conversation at 1.05 about why students feel the need to confess too.

Far Villages Craft Talk