This course will serve both as an introduction to poetry for prose writers as well as exploring how practiced poets can use fictional avenues rather than simply writing from the confessional, Lyric “I.”
Students will write a variety of drafts—poetic or otherwise, as they define and choose—focusing specifically on how ideas of poetic writing and imagery can apply to whatever they’re ultimately interested in. Students will have the opportunity to receive comments on multiple short drafts. Readings will include poems by Ai, Eduardo C Corral, Russell Edson, Suji Kwock Kim, Ada Limon, Sabrina Orah Mark. Claudia Rankine, Solmaz Sharif, & James Tate.
Week 1: What Is Poetic?
Basing discussion on a packet of poems emailed to students a week prior, we’ll begin by exploring what types of poems, poetic moves and movements of language students are individually drawn to—and why—as we seek to form or expand on our personal definitions of what poetry can accomplish.
Week 2: Prose Poems, the Image, & the Sentence
During the second class meeting, we’ll explore what, exactly, makes the prose poem poetry as opposed to, well, prose. And is such distinction even real at all? In service of this question, we’ll pay particular attention to the sentence and image as units of momentum and direction.
Week 3: Persona Poems
This week we’ll discuss what masks we adopt as authors as well as those we wear—consciously or otherwise—throughout our lives, looking toward how varied approaches to conversation and interaction can help us navigate convention and expectation.
Week 4: Against Story
The Lyric Poem and its means of meditation is often the path poets take away from linear narrative. This class meeting will explore the trap doors, tricks, and sense of play poetic language can offer as a means of spinning a narrative that might not ever actually appear at all.
Week 5: Uses of History & POV
We’ll explore how to separate ourselves from our subjects via the events of other worlds and perceptions, as well as how to offer our speakers a sense of engaged distance.
Week 6: Parlor Games
In this last class we’ll turn toward experimentation and end our six weeks together on a sense of play.