Form & Theory of Poetry

This course will introduce students to contemporary and traditional poetic forms, from sonnets to graffiti, from villanelles to video poetry, from free verse to prose poems, from elegy to documentary, from hip-hop to spoken word. We will explore how older forms have influenced newer forms, and how different forms emerge from diverse cultural, historical, and political contexts. We will also examine the relationship between written, oral, and visual poetry, as well as the theories that have shaped these forms.  Lastly, we will engage creatively by writing our own original poetry inspired by the course texts.


Course Requirements:

Students will be required to attend class sessions, analyze texts, compose informal and formal written responses, participate in class discussion, complete a presentation and midterm exam, and create original poetry based on prompts.  Students will be offered extra credit to attend the many literary events on-campus and in the community.


Required Texts:

Javier Huerta, American Copia: An Immigrant Epic

Brandy Nalani McDougall, The Salt Wind / Ka Makani Pa’akai

Douglas Kearney, The Black Automaton

Emelihter Kihleng, My Urohs

Rachel McKibbens, Pink Elephant


Other Readings will be provided via Laulima.