ENG 221-01: Writing of Poetry
212 Graham Building
Professor: Terry L. Kennedy
Office Hours: TWR: (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 and of 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 and small-group discussions.
--Turn in four “directed” poems, four “open” poems, and four revisions.
--Turn in weekly critiques.
--Take four reading quizzes.
--Hold -minute group presentation/class discussion
--Consistently meet with your presentation group outside of class.
--Attend regularly scheduled conferences.
--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://blackboard.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://blackboard.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 Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word 2000, or htm documents.)
Pharaoh, Pharaoh: Poems by Claudia Emerson
Pinion: An Elegy by Claudia Emerson
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.
1/13: First day of class
“Rules of the Workshop”
“Rules for Critiques”
1/22: Quiz 1
Presentation: Word Choice
Directed Poem: word choice (Note: If you are presenting, bring copies for the entire class. Everyone else, bring 1 copy.)
The Miser by Mona Van Duyn
Watching Fire by John Haines
Winter Bouquet by W.D. Snodgrass
For the Union Dead by Robert Lowell
1/29: Workshop directed poems: word choice (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
2/3: Workshop directed poems: word choice (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
Open Poem 1 Due
2/5: Conference 1
2/10: Open Workshop 1 (Bring 2 copies of each critique to class!)
2/12: Quiz 2 Due
Directed Poem: syntax
Of a Sun She Can Remember by Eleanor Wilner
Self-Employed by David Ignatow
What a Boy Can Do by Alberto Rios
Notes on the Death . . . by Ted Kooser
The Room by Mark Strand
Lee Morgan by David Henderson
Boxing by Leo Connellan
Hay for the Horses by Gary Snyder
2/19: Workshop directed poems: syntax
2/24: Workshop directed poems: syntax
Open Poem 2 Due
2/26: Conference 2
3/3: Author Focus: Yusef Komunyakka
3/5: Open Workshop 2
3/10-3/14: Spring Break
3/17: Quiz 3
Directed poem: 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
3/24: Workshop directed poems: line
3/26: Workshop directed poems: line
Open Poem 3 Due
3/31: Conference 3
4/2: Open Workshop 3
4/7: Quiz 4 Due
Directed Poem: rhythm
For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen by Hart Crane
Love Song by William Carlos Williams
Childhood of the Invisible Woman by Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Somewhere Near Phu Bai by Yusef Komunyakaa
Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper by Martín Espada
A Few Days by James Schuyler
Middle Age by Robert Lowell
Bix Beiderbecke by Dana Gioia
4/14: Workshop directed poems: rhythm
4/16: Workshop directed poems: rhythm
Open Poem 4 Due
4/21: Conference 4
4/23: Open Workshop 4
4/28: Author Focus: Li Young Lee
4/30: Class Cancelled – Self-Evaluation Letter Due
5/5: Last Day of Class – Class-Evaluation Letter Due
5/12: Final Paper—due no later than (Note: Failure to turn in final paper on time will cause you to fail the course)