Poetry Workshop: The Making of the Complete Lover


“The known universe has one complete lover, and that is the greatest poet.”—Walt Whitman

This course, a semester-long variation on the theme of the traditional poetry workshop, will focus on acquiring the ways and means of Whitman’s complete lover via the study of great poetry. En route, we will read aloud, discuss particular topics (e.g., line breaks, punctuation, truth), and do various tuning and strengthening exercises. Conference time will be devoted to student work. Students will also be asked to compile an anthology and a chapbook collection of original poetry for class distribution, to memorize, and to participate in two class readings over the course of the term. The only prerequisites are a curiosity about all poetry, not just one’s own, and a commitment to undertake whatever labors are necessary to write better on the last day of class than on the first.