Fall 2010 -
Undergraduate Course Description
Discipline and Number
4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Description of Course:
Creating Poetries: From Expression to Experience
How do we shift our writing from an act of mere expression to the crafting of an experience that feels vital to your reader? In this class, we will read poetry less to ask *what* it means and more to understand *how* it creates effects for readers, taking our readings as models for making our own work. We will consider poetic traditions as well as contemporary poetic procedures. During the first few weeks of class we will move through Kenneth Koch’s essays and anthology to give us an overview of the history of poetic practice (from Sappho to Gary Synder). We will review the important characteristics of poetry (form, rhetorical stance, repetition, image, music, etc.) Then we will work through the various stages of inspiration, creation and revision of our own poems. This class will combine exercises in close-reading, observational writing and reader response as well as the traditional study of poetic tools and editing strategies. One of the main goals of the class, intended for both beginning and experienced writers, will be to help students attain a writer’s discipline in crafting poems and revising them. Through the workshop process, we will also focus on how to become better editors of our work and the work of our peers.
Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
To identify the major elements of contemporary poetry: rhetorical stance, rhyme, rhythm, meter, diction, line breaks, stanza breaks, syntax, etc.
To discuss methods of finding inspiration as well as strategies for creating and revising poems.
To identify and analyze the aesthetic strategies of contemporary poets.
To understand the characteristics of strong descriptive writing.
To become better editors of your own work, as well as that of your classmates.
Koch, Kenneth Making Your Own Days
Additional hand-outs as needed
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Access to a computer and a printer
An e-mail account
A journal: one notebook that you will consistently use for journaling.
Folders for class handouts, daily pages, and final portfolios.