Poetry Workshop

Content, goals, requirements, assumptions
and methods:

content of the course will be the discussion and critique of poems written by
students in the class. There will also be selected readings in craft and theory
of poetry. Reading the prose and poetry of diverse international poets is
integral to the course.

assumptions about workshop classes are that they can be beneficial when all the students actively enable
collaboration, good will, and peer support. Peers provide an audience for
work-in-progress, and can challenge one another to set high goals for
themselves, freely articulate their concerns about poetry, and take risks with
new or alternative perspectives on their work. At best, a workshop course helps
students intensify and focus their work habits, and prods them to be more self
aware about their intentions, aspirations, and place in the wider context of
art, history, and society. Workshops can also be useless and even harmful if not carefully conducted, with
the right tone of generosity and humility. Students who don’t want to be helpful as well as helped probably shouldn’t enroll in this class and won’t have any

course will encouraging students to see themselves and their writing in
relation to the rest of the world, without regard to national, linguistic,
cultural, and other borders. At the same time, we can assume that art is
created by individuals living in specific places and communities, and we’ll ask
about the influences of “home” and location on art. The course is for committed students who wish to make literary
writing their life’s pursuit, or at least explore that possibility of that

are required to submit a substantial amount of creative work every week;
respond weekly to other students’ work and to the class discussions on a class
blog; read all handouts; and write a midterm and final paper on their
aesthetics and methods. Background readings will include Sappho, Plato,
Whitman, Lorca, A. Carson, Nussbaum—along with Asian, Spanish, European,
African and other international poets and translations galore.