Poetry Craft Class: Managing Material
The job of poets is to manage material, to understand that we have decisions to make, and to be willing to make those decisions in service of the poem at hand. Understanding the elements that make up a poem—recognizing them, identifying them, utilizing them—is what makes a raw talent a great talent. We will learn the art of close reading. Each week, we will look through craft lenses at poems that I bring in—discussing diction, the poetic image, structure, time, location, syntax, etc. There will be occasional writing in class and writing assignments; students will also be asked to write a few short papers (2-3 pages each) on assigned craft issues and poems. The reading of craft essays will be assigned, as well. Among the many poems assigned will be work by Ai, Armatrout, Ashbery, Bidart, Cooper, Hass, Kunitz, Kageyama-Ramakrishnan, Li, Nogues, Whitman, and many more.