All good poems simultaneously do at least two things: 1) they innovate and create a sense of surprise for the reader, and 2) they position themselves in relation to the tradition of the art. In this workshop, we will look at the ways in which poets can “make it new,” while also understanding the functions of the line, sound, syllabics, patterns, stanzas, and rhymes, both subtle and overt. While not a traditional prosody course, the parts of poems and the techniques available to poets will be a central part of our weekly discussions. We will also ask what function poems have, how they work, why we read them, and what urges us to write them. Students will assemble an individual reading list for the term, which we will discuss during conferences in addition to our conversations about individual poems.