Fall 2016 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This class is designed for intermediate writers or for beginner writers who have had limited opportunities to study creative writing in a classroom setting. However, more experienced writers can gain something from reevaluating both their work and the creative work of others. No matter how advanced writers become, they still strive to improve their craft. Students in this class should be willing to learn about fundamental elements of poetry, practice such elements and techniques, improve their writing skills, critique their own work as well as other writersâ€™ work, and thoroughly revise their poems. Final grade depends on the amount of writing, revision, and rewriting students do throughout the semester. I encourage students to work with their poems by testing various techniques, styles, and approaches. By experimenting with what they have written and what they have learned about writing during the course of the semester, students will develop a better understanding of what being a writer means.This is a writing-intensive workshop. Thus, students will read and discuss a variety of poems and poetic forms while also giving close attention to the poems they are writing. Students will be asked to read widely, to try your hand (and ear) at a variety of poems, and to give and receive criticism in a spirit of exploration and good will.
â€¢ Addonizio, Kim. Ordinary Genius. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009.
â€¢ Kooser, Ted. The Poetry Home Repair Manual. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
â€¢ Pinsky, Robert, ed. The Best of the Best: American Poetry. New York: Scribner Poetry, 2013
â€¢ sketchbook/journal â€“ Though I prefer sketchbooks from art stores (ones that are large, bound like a book, and have sturdy blank pages), select one of your choosing. It can be plain or fancy, lined or unlined, large or small. However, it must be unused and of a size large enough to accommodate approximately fifty writing exercises.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Requirements include two portfolios, an annotated anthology of poems from our reading, written critiques of manuscripts by two of your classmates, active classroom participation, a technical presentation, and attendance at poetry readings.
Most class sessions will be divided between discussion of poems you have read and discussion of poems you have written.
Each week I will assign readings related to a particular form or an aspect of poetic craft. Some of these readings will be discussed in detail; others may come up during workshop discussion. Several times during the semester you will be asked to lead a short discussion of a particular poem, concept, or aspect of craft.
Each week for most of the semester I will ask you to write a poem employing a particular aspect of craft. Each of these poems should be taken through at least a couple of drafts, making it as presentable as possible in a few daysâ€™ time and photocopied for your classmates.
In the first half of the semester, you will write one or two poems each week in response to these assignments. In the second half, only a few poems are specifically assigned, so the rest of your writing time can be spent on other poems and on revision.