Intro to Lit: Lit & CW (Poetry on the Fringe)

Poetry on the Fringe

In 1939,
W. H. Auden wrote, “For poetry makes nothing happen…”. It is worth noting
that this quote comes from a poem that eulogized another poet, W. B. Yeats, but
also captures a sentiment often expressed by the talking heads of mainstream
America. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show,
with a bit of tongue in cheek, poked fun at the White House poetry showcases,
sponsored by Michelle Obama. Tom Hanks recently parodied performance poetry,
and the all-but-forgotten-TV-show Full
, on Late Night with Jimmy

So what
does poetry do? What happens before, during, and after poetry? This class will
attempt to analyze these questions and more. The following list names a few of
the authors, whose work we will be considering: Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Barrack,
June Jordan, Pablo Neruda, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Haunani-Kay Trask, Patricia
Smith, Andrea Gibson, Beau Sia, Brandy Nālani McDougall, Jamaica Osorio, Jocelyn
Ng, Gizelle Gajelonia, Melvin Won-Pat Borja, and Craig Santos Perez. We will be
looking at page and stage poetry and discussing how different spaces influence
composition and reception.

Assigned Texts (will be available at Revolution
Books, 2626 King St):

Howl by Allen Ginsberg

from Unincorporated
Territory [Hacha]
by Craig Santos Perez

Salt Wind by Brandy Nālanai McDougall

Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Bus by Gizelle Gajelonia

Most other
assigned readings will be provided via handouts and PDF files on Laulima. Some
of the texts for this class will be videos, with no corresponding transcript,
so be prepared to listen closely.

Course Requirements:

This class
will include blogpostings, a midterm, a final exam, and five formal essays that
must be 4-6 pages in length. I am also a firm believer the best way to get to
know poetry is to write it, so get your best creative hat on, and be prepared
to write your own poems.