ENG 106-02: Introduction to Poetry
309 Curry Building
Professor: Terry L. Kennedy
Office: 136F McIver Building, Mailbox: 133 McIver Building
Office Hours: MW: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm (and by appointment)
Course Description: This is an introductory yet intensive course in the study of poetry. Writing and speaking intensive requirements include presentations, weekly “low-stakes” writing assignments, written responses, and the writing/revising of short papers.
Student Learning Goals:
At the completion of this course, students will be able to:
Identify and understand varied characteristics of poetry
Apply techniques of literary analysis to texts
Demonstrate understanding of the diverse social and historical contexts in which poetry has been written and interpreted
Adapt modes of communication to the audience
Use the study of poetry to develop skills in careful reading
Demonstrate the ability to write clearly, coherently and effectively about poetry
Incorporate constructive feedback from readers to improve the written work
UNCG Grading System:
A: Excellent – Indicates achievement of distinction and excellence
B: Good – Indicates general achievement superior to the acceptable standard
C: Average – Indicates acceptable standard for graduation
D: Lowest Passing Grade – Indicates work which falls below the acceptable standards
F: Failure – Indicates failure that may not be made up except by repeating the course
Attendance: ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED! You are allowed ONE absence during the semester—no exceptions. If you miss two days, you will lose 2 points from your final total; if you miss three days, you will lose 4 points; four days, 6 points; if you miss five or more days, you will automatically fail the course.
If you are late to class or leave early from class, it counts as ½ an absence.
Absences include illness, sporting events, car accidents, acts of nature, etc. In other words, an absence is an absence is an absence. I do not need a note from the health center or police department, as it will make absolutely no difference at all.
If you are absent on the day of a conference, a paper is due, a workshop, etc., you will not only receive two absences, you will also get a zero for the missed assignment.
If you do not miss a class (and you are on time each day) you will receive five extra points toward your final grade.
Your Responsibilities are to:
Read each assignment carefully and come to class prepared to discuss it. (Note: always bring your texts to class.)
Participate ACTIVELY in large-group, small-group discussions, and on-line discussions
Turn in weekly “low stakes” writing assignments.
Write two four-to-five page papers.
Attend regularly scheduled conferences.
Hold three thirty-minute group presentations/class discussions
Turn in a final two-to-three page class-evaluation letter.
Turn in a final three-to-four page self-evaluation of your work in the course.
Extra credit assignments will be posted on our class Blackboard Announcements page (http://bb.uncg.edu) periodically throughout the semester. (Note: I will not discuss the extra-credit assignments in class. It is YOUR responsibility to check the website and e-mail me for details.)
Excluding original poems, all assignments should be typed, double-spaced, with a size 12 “times” font, 1inch top & bottom margins, and 1.25 inch left & right margins.
Assignments failing to use the specified spacing, font, or margins will not be accepted.
It is your responsibility to bring the required number of copies of each assignment to class.
Failure to bring in the required number of copies will result in your receiving a zero for the assignment.
Late assignments will not be accepted.
The majority of our texts (including homework assignments and handouts) for the semester will be made available on-line via our class Blackboard site (http://bb.uncg.edu). It is YOUR responsibility to make sure that you have all of the required texts well in advance. Failure to bring the required texts to class will result in ½ an absence. (Note: I couldn’t get to the computer lab, my printer isn’t working, I couldn’t log onto the web, etc. are not valid excuses.)
(Note: All website texts are either Adobe Acrobat PDF files, Microsoft Word 2000 files, or htm documents.)
Domestic Work by Natasha Trethewey
Bellocq’s Ophelia by Natasha Trethewey
Afterworld by Christine Garren
Among the Monarchs by Christine Garren
(Note: The books should be available at the University
Bookstore and can sometimes be found by following the link from our website to
Amazon.com. Additionally, 1 copy of each book will be placed on Reserve at the
Jackson Library for 2-hour checkout.)
Your final grade will determined by the following breakdown:
Class Participation (Note: This includes participation in class discussions, interaction with group presentations, and the seriousness/quality of your written critiques of your classmates work.): 30%
Major Papers/Revision Assignments: 25%
Presentations/Class Discussions/Low-stakes Writing Assignments: 25%
Final Paper: 20%
Other Important Things to Remember: This is a university level course. I will not “hound” you live up to the class policies and requirements. If you are having problems meeting the course or assignment requirements, it is your responsibility to make an appointment to see me. If you fail to meet the expectations of the course (which will undoubtedly have a negative affect on your grade) it is solely your responsibility.
Notes on Conferences: Conferences are a two way street. You should not only bring a copy of your paper & critique, you should be prepared discuss, in detail, your thoughts and concerns.
Be prepared to take notes. I will not be returning a red-penned paper for you to “connect the dots for the perfect piece.” It is up to you to mark the places where you feel your paper needs revision, and then to make those revisions on your own.
8/20: First day of class
Essay: Narrative Poetry
Presentation: Narrative Poetry
To the Western World by Louis Simpson
The Man Who Knew the Words to Louie, Louie by David Keller
Cutting the Sun by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
9/3: Author Focus: Denise Levertov
9/5: Reading: Essay: The Didactic in Poetry
Presentation: The Didactic in Poetry
Precise & Outline – Presentation 1 (Natasha Trethewey) due
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry
Didactic Poem by Denise Levertov
River Blindness (Onchocerciasis) by Thomas Lux
How to See Deer by Philip Booth
How to Be Old by May Swensen
9/12: Author Focus: Wendell Berry & Gary Snyder
Essay: Places and Politics in Poetry
Presentation: Places and Politics in Poetry
Thin Ice by Gary Snyder
Linoleum by Faye Kicknosway
Lackawanna by W.S. Merwin
Exercise in the Cemetery by Jane Gentry
9/24: Presentations: Natasha Trethewey
9/26: Presentations: Natasha Trethewey
10/1: Paper 1 (Natasha Trethewey) – Draft 1 due (Bring 3 copies to class!)
10/3: Conferences – Partner Critique due (Bring 3 copies to conference!)
10/4: Conferences – Partner Critique due (Bring 3 copies to conference!)
10/7: Conferences – Partner Critique due (Bring 3 copies to conference!)
10:/8: Conferences – Partner Critique due (Bring 3 copies to conference!)
10/10: Paper 1 (Natasha Trethewey) – Final Draft due
10/12-10/16: Fall Break. Classes Dismissed.
Essay: The Social Contexts of Poems
Presentation: The Social Contexts of Poems
Alfred Corning Clark by Robert Lowell
Poem in October by Dylan Thomas
Phoebe, Phoebe, Phoebe by Irene McKinney
Late Afternoon, Late in the Twentieth Century by Jeffrey Skinner
Precise & Outline – Presentation 2 (Christine Garren) due
10/24: Author Focus: W.S. Merwin
Essay: Poetic Variations
Langdon North Dakota by Campbell McGrath
Junior High School English by Annie Dillard
Vision and Prayer by Dylan Thomas
Swifts at Evening by Jeffrey Harrison
11/5: Author Focus:
11/7: Presentations - Christine Garren
11/12: Presentations - Christine Garren
11/14: Paper 2 (Christine Garren) – Draft 1 due (Bring 3 copies to class!)
11/18: Conferences – Partner Critique due (Bring 3 copies to conference!)
11/19: Conferences – Partner Critique due (Bring 3 copies to conference!)
11/20: Conferences – Partner Critique due (Bring 3 copies to conference!)
11/21: Conferences – Partner Critique due (Bring 3 copies to conference!)
11/26: Paper 2 (Christine Garren) – Final Draft due
11/27-12/1: Thanksgiving Break. Classes Dismissed.
12/3: Author Focus: Yusef Komunyakaa
12/5: Last Day of Class – Class Evaluation Letter Due
12/10: Final self-evaluation paper—due no later than NOON (Note: Failure to turn in final portfolio on time will cause you to fail the course)