Fall 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Traditional creative writing workshops focus their attention on revising poems. But how do we learn to enrich and improve our writing practice? This course will shift emphasis away from product toward process, away from polishing drafts and toward the cultivation of one’s attention to the world and to experience. We will explore notebook strategies and learn to practice making quick sketches of our internal states and external observations as well as to respond to assigned readings. We will review the most important characteristics of poetry (rhyme, rhythm, repetition, image, music, etc.) Then we will work through the various stages of inspiration, creation and revision of our own poems. To aide us in this process we will read from the notebooks, diaries, and poetry collections of renowned poets such as Basho, Gerard Manley Hopkins and James Schuyler. This class will combine exercises in close-reading, techniques of observation as well as the study of poetic tools and strategies for revisions.
Required textbooks will likely include but not necessarily be limited to:
The Essential Haiku (ed. Robert Hass) ISBN-10: 0880013516
Hopkins, Gerard Manley Poems and Prose ISBN-10: 0140420150
Koch, Kenneth Making Your Own Days ISBN-10: 0-684-82438-8
Schuyler, James Selected Poems ISBN-10: 0374530890
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
*Exercises, workshop poems and feedback on classmates’ work (20%).
*One 3-4 page craft analysis essays of a series of poems by a single author read in this class (30%).
*One 4-5 page peer analysis of another student’s final portfolio of poems (20%).
*Final Portfolio of 7-10 pages of revised poems (30%).