Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Human Language of Poetry: Keeping in Touch with Inner Life

CarolAnn Russell Schlemper.

Active technology has supplanted many of the reflective arts that kept us in touch with what it means to be human. The diaries, the conferences and long conversations, the letters to friends, the complex novels have been sidestepped by e-mail, video and virtual reality. Our lives become flattened, codified in résumés and cv’s. We believe we are constantly evolving strangers always gone from home. Poetry returns us to the sacred mysteries, the spirals and labyrinths that lead us to the center of knowing. Drawing upon ideas from philosophy, psychology, alchemy, and mythology, I will lead a workshop in Poetry as “the language of human life.” The workshop will utilize poems in Spanish, Italian, and German (all with English translations), and English. Participants will undertake a soul voyage, encounter fantastic realms of thought and image. The premises underlying this workshop are: The pattern of human life lived at its profound level is not chronological nor rational, but cyclic and passionate. The events of our inner world guide and influence who we become and how we define what it means to be human. Poetry can comprise a “Passional” to guide us in shaping the role of the humanities in imagining the shape of our human future.


CarolAnn Russell Schlemper  (United States)
Poet and Professor of English
College of Arts and Letters
Bemidji State University

Published Poet and Professor of English and Women's Studies. Poet residencies at Australian Centre, University of Melbourne and American Academy in Rome. Over 50 presentations and readings in USA.

  • Human Language Poetry
  • keep touch inner life
  • poems translation
  • sacred mysteries, alchemy, philosophy, psychology,
  • soul voyage, cyclic & passionate Imagining shape of future

(60 min. Workshop, English)