Poetry Workshop: Rebels, Sirens, Outlaws


Poetry is oftentimes driven by a mysterious force that prompts the imaginative writer to rebel, disobey, lie, tell fantastic truths, subvert, make new, or forge an entirely new path in a way that feels both expansive and combustible. The first semester will concentrate on in-class writing and critique, poetic experiments, wild meanderings, and manifestos anchored by choice readings of poems and essays. The second semester will ground the student by delving into individual books that will help the writer become more knowledgeable about the history in which they are a part. A book a week will be read, followed by in-depth discussions on craft, style, voice, vision, structure, and song. Poets that we will read include John Berryman, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Amiri Baraka, Gertrude Stein, Jose Garcia Villa, James Dickey, Anne Carson, Albert Goldbarth, Lucie Brock-Broido, Lucille Clifton, and others. Students are expected to write and read consistently, to experiment, and to be passionate about creation. Take-home assignments will accompany readings. Two revision portfolios will be due during each semester. Students will have the opportunity to meet and converse with established poets whose work we will be studying in the spring semester.