This course combines elements of seminar and workshop and invites students to deepen their knowledge of poetic forms, movements, and styles, with the goal of strengthening their voices through equal parts reading and writing poetry. Over the course of the semester, we will study specific aspects of craft, such as line, line breaks, stanzaic choices, meter, form, image, metaphor, and sound, broadening and developing our range of expression, linguistic elasticity, comfort with risk-taking, formal innovation, and writer’s “toolkits.” As we read and investigate a wide scope of both canonical and contemporary poets—from Shakespeare to Harryette Mullen—with an eye toward craft, we will experiment with their architectures and formal choices in our own poetry. Students will develop a portfolio of poems (including odes, sonnets, list poems, ekphrastic poems, and other constraint-based forms) and write an accompanying essay on the craft of poets who have influenced their work.
This course is open to all students, but freshmen and sophomores are especially welcome.
No advance application is required for this course.