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Found Poetry: Chiseling Creatively

After a tip from Gary Liebesman, we discovered Srikanth Reddy, an assistant professor of English and visiting University of Chicago poet. After experiencing a drought of inspiration subsequent to the publication of his first book in 2004, Reddy discovered a vast opportunity in paradox as he began to sift through the words of Kurt Waldheim’s political memoirs. As anТ  international statesman, possible accomplice to Nazi war crimes, 1986 Austrian president Waldheim, was criticized for his omission of personal involvement with a Nazi storm-trooper unit.

Seizing this tactic of omission, Reddy began to surrender words of Waldheim’s memoirs in a process of editing superfluous language to uncover an entirely alternative meaning in his culminating literary project Voyager. Through submission, he found poetry; a process of creativity engaged by excavation as opposed to manifestation.Т  And thus, in a paradoxical avenue toward creativity, Reddy unmasked a certain beauty once immersed in the unsettling.

As Reddy describes, “The great thing about working with a literary technique that’s extremely difficult, Т is that your intentions are continually thwarted. You have to surrender to the text and find meaning in what’s there. And often the meaning you find accidentally is far more interesting and [more] beautiful than what you originally wanted.”

For the full article, read The University of Chicago Magazine’s Found Poetry.

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