Poetry Workshop

English 411: Writing Workshop

This is a course on documentary, or mixed genre, poetry. You will be asked to think deeply about your place in larger histories—of place, of politics, of public health—and to write in layers of fact and feeling about them. Class time will be used to talk about our readings, do experiments that help us do this kind of work, and talk about each other’s work. Our conversations will center on opening up possibilities for expression and on refining our craft.

Course requirements consist of writing one poem per week, revising poems, participating actively in class discussions, and making a final chapbook of 8-10 poems, which will feature a five page introduction to your work by you.

This is a course about difficulties. You may tailor the course to write about the difficulties of our time, including the on-going pandemic, or another point of conflict. Writing poems will not resolve such problems, but will allow us to see them more clearly, and to find meaning in them.

Donovan Kuhio Colleps, Proposed Additions

Philip Metres, Shrapnel Maps

Charles Reznikoff, Testimony

Muriel Rukeyser, Book of the Dead

Lisa Linn Kanae, Ola’s Son

Eleni Sikelianos, The Book of Jon