What makes one a good poet? A good poet, of course, produces good poetry. Then what produces such writing? What does a rigorous poetic practice look like?
This advanced poetry workshop will actively explore and enact the necessary facets of writing: expansive reading, thoughtful analysis, productive questions, and the spirit of sharing. We will use one class meeting per week to primarily discuss assigned readings (poems), examine the creative choices that make the text effective, and consider how we might adapt the strategies in our own writing. In other words, we will approach and engage with the text as our generative inspiration. The instructor may provide significant personal, cultural, and/or historical context that enriches the critiques and questions for the poem.
The other class meeting will be for workshopping student poems. As published poets are often asked to participate in public speaking engagements and describe their work for a general audience, our workshop format will resemble an interview, so that students can practice A) posing respectful and constructive questions, and B) cogently explaining the decisions behind their writing. The final assignment will be a portfolio of poems written during the term.
To encourage wide-ranging reading and inspiration, the required texts will be poems from various languages (in translation), time periods, and traditions. All poems will be provided on Laulima.