Creative Writing: The Spoken Word & Poetry

This focus
of this course is the craft of writing and performing poetry, so this is a
writing intensive course that places an additional emphasis on presentation.
The first half of the semester will be primarily devoted to writing poems with
the expectation of revising and polishing them for  performance, which will be the focus of the
second half of the semester. We will be doing in class writing and performing
exercises, and workshops. We will also read and watch poetry to help us get a
better grasp of concepts and craft through example. Hopefully, these works will
also serve as inspiration for your own writing. In addition, we will be reading
some criticism, because sometimes the best way to begin unpacking a
poem/performance is to find out what other people are saying about it. In this
class, we will be paying close attention to our relationships with audience,
and what types of expectations reside in those kinds alliances. Required texts
will be available through Revolution Books and via Laulima as pdf.

Required texts (available at Revolution Books):

  • The
    Teachers and Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms – Ron Padgett
  • Bluets
    – Maggie Nelson
  • Migritude
    – Shailja Patel
  • Wild
    Dogs Under My Skirt – Tusiata Avia

Also required:

  • a
    notebook for free writes and taking notes.

Course Requirements:

  •  Blog
    responses:  For each reading assignment,
    an online response will be due on our blog by 6pm the night before class,
    unless otherwise noted.
  • Attendance
    and participation:  This is is crucial
    for classtime (particularly workshop days) and blog postings.
  • Final
    “Chapbooks”/Presentations, which will be divided into three sections:
  1. A collection of revised and
    polished poetry (8 to 10 poems) with a brief statement of poetics (1 page)
    accompanying each poem;
  2. A performance manifesto (3 to 5
    pages) that explores your thoughts and edicts on performance;
  3. A final performance presentation,
    where you will choose two to three of your poems and perform them for an