ENG 221-01: Writing of Poetry
338 McIver Building
Professor: Terry L. Kennedy
Teaching Assistant: Roxanne Halpine
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 poetry writing. Students will be responsible for interpretive as well as creative work with half of the semester consisting of directed assignments and presentations. The remainder of the class will be spent critiquing and discussing work submitted by the members of the workshop. At the end of the semester, each student is to submit a final interpretive paper as well as a self-evaluation of his coursework throughout the semester. All students are expected to have taken a college literature course in which poetry is studied prior to enrolling. This course is for students beyond the freshman year.
Student Learning Goals:
To develop artistic abilities and ultimately produce a refined body of work by focusing intensively, under faculty guidance, on poetry.
To learn sophisticated models for revision; sharpen reading, editorial, and analytical skills; and cultivate the ability to articulate matters of craft and literary theory.
To become familiar with formal possibilities for writing and explore the historical development of prosody through a close study of the structure of poetry.
To develop a broader knowledge base of contemporary works of and the literary canon.
To enhance professional development with the support of a community of faculty, fellow students, and distinguished visiting writers.
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, and on-line discussions.
Turn in seven “directed” poems and five “open” poems.
Turn in weekly critiques.
Hold one forty-five-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.
Turn in a final five-to-six page comparison of two collections of poems.
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, Microsoft Word 2000, or htm documents.)
Afterworld by Christine Garren
Among the Monarchs by Christine Garren
Domestic Work by Natasha Trethewey
Bellocq’s Ophelia by Natasha Trethewey
(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%
Directed Poems/Critiques: 25%
Presentations/Class Discussions/Self-and-class-evaluations: 25%
Final Paper: 20%
Notes on “Open” poems: It is my belief that each member of the workshop will be working on original poems—that follow their own artistic inclinations—before (perhaps), throughout, and after (hopefully) the semester. In other words, when “open” poems are due, I expect you to be able to pull from a backlog of work to meet the assignment as opposed to creating something new just before the workshop.
Notes on Conferences: Conferences are a two way street. You should not only bring a copy of your poem, you should be prepared discuss, in detail, your thoughts and concerns.
Be prepared to take notes. I will not be returning a red-penned poem for you to “connect the dots for the perfect piece.” It is up to you to mark the places where you feel your poem needs revision, and then to make those revisions on your own.
I will not discuss more than two poems per conference. In addition, poems must be turned in to me at least seven days prior to your conference.
Other Important Things to Remember: This is a university level course. If you fail to meet the expectations of the class (which will undoubtedly have a negative affect on your grade) it is solely your responsibility. I will not “hound” you to live up to the course policies and requirements. If you are having problems meeting the class or assignment requirements, it is your responsibility to make an appointment to see me.
8/20: First day of class
“Rules of the Workshop”
“Rules for Critiques”
8/27: Reading: Essay on Word Choice
The Miser by Mona Van Duyn
Watching Fire by John Haines
Winter Bouquet by W.D. Snodgrass
For the Union Dead by Robert Lowell
Directed poem: word choice (Note: If you are presenting, bring copies for the entire class. Everyone else, bring 1 copy.)
Presentation on word choice
Essay: De/Compositions by W.D. Snodrass
9/3: Workshop directed poems: word choice (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
Focus: Robert Lowell
Open Poem 1 due (Bring 1 copy)
9/10: Reading: Essay on Line
The Arrest of Oscar Wilde by John Betjeman
After Apple Picking by Robert Frost
The Three Susans by Jane Kenyon
The Cracks by Robert Creeley
Slow Drivers by Gerald Barrax
Praises by Thomas McGrath
Critics and Connoisseurs by Marianne Moore
Loneliness: An Outburst of Hexasyllables by Hayden Carruth
Lady Bates by Randall Jarrell
Directed poem: line (Note: If you are presenting, bring copies for the entire class. Everyone else, bring 1 copy.)
Presentation on line
9/12: Workshop directed poems: line (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
9/17: Open Workshop 1 (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!) (Visiting Writer: Dan Albergotti)
9/19: Author Focus:
(Optional: Conference poems due)
9/24: Reading: Essay on Sound
Domesday Song by W.H. Auden
Junk by Richard Wilbur
A Terre and Exposure by Wilfred Owen
River Road by Stanley Kunitz
Overhearing Two on a Cold Sunday Morning by Robert Francis
Blackie, the Electric Rembrandt by Thom Gunn
Directed poem: sound (Note: If you are presenting, bring copies for the entire class. Everyone else, bring 2 copies.)
Presentation on sound
9/26: Optional Conference Day
directed poems: sound (Bring 2 copies of each critique to
Open Poem 2 due (Bring 1 copy)
10/3: Reading: Essay on Rhythm & Meter
Directed poem: rhythm & meter (Note: If you are presenting, bring copies for the entire class. Everyone else, bring 2 copies.)
Presentation on rhythm & meter
10/8: Workshop directed poems: rhythm & meter (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
10/10: Open Workshop 2 (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
10/12-10/16: Fall Break. Classes Dismissed.
10/17: Reading: Essay on Details
The Last Class by Ellen Bryant Voigt
A Job on the Night Shift by Greg Pape
St. Peter Claver by Toi Derricotte
Love Calls Us to the Things of This World by Richard Wilbur
Break of Day by Galway Kinnell
Directed poem: details (Note: If you are presenting, bring copies for the entire class. Everyone else, bring 1 copy.)
Presentation on details
Open Poem 3 due (Bring 1 copy)
10/22: Workshop directed poems: details (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
10/24: Reading: Essay on Metaphor
#875 by Emily Dickinson
#889 by Emily Dickinson
Cinderella by Anne Sexton
One Eye, Two Eyes, Three-Eyes by Anne Sexton
Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane by Etheridge Knight
Directed poem: metaphor (Note: If you are presenting, bring copies for the entire class. Everyone else, bring 1 copy.)
Presentation on metaphor
Open Poem 4 due (Bring 1 copy)
10/29: Workshop directed poems: metaphor (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
Workshop 3 (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
(Optional: Conference poems due) (Visiting Writer: Todd McKinney)
11/5: Open Workshop
4 (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
11/7: Optional Conference Day
11/12: Author Focus: Emily Dickinson
Open Poem 5 due (Bring 1 copy)
11/14: Reading: Essay
Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish
Poppies in July by Sylvia Plath
Child on Top of a Greenhouse by Theodore Roethke
Medusa by Louise Bogan
The Explosion by Philip Larkin
Directed poem: image (Note: If you are presenting, bring copies for the entire class. Everyone else, bring 1 copy.)
Presentation on image
11/19: Workshop directed poems: image (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
(Optional: Conference poems due)
11/21: Open Workshop 5 (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!) (Visiting Writer: Rob Seals)
11/26: Optional Conference Day
11/27-12/1: Thanksgiving Break. Classes Dismissed.
12/3: Last Day of Class – Class Evaluation Letter Due
12/5: Class Cancelled – Self-Evaluation Letter Due
12/10: Final Paper—due no later than NOON (Note: Failure to turn in final paper on time will cause you to fail the course)