Romayne Rubinas Dorsey

PREREQUISITE: W103 or W203 or equivalent. Section requires permission of the instructor.

5:45p-7:00p TR (15 students) 3 cr.

This upper-level poetry workshop will focus on developing students’ original work while reading and discussing what’s being written and published in contemporary poetry. We will read multiple examples of work by contemporary poets, and we will explore the work both through class discussion and in our own writing.

In class, we will focus on an understanding of craft through close reading of poetry along with a few essays on poetics as well as through various writing exercises. In the workshop component of the class, we will focus on the experience of the poem in process: how craft elements are put to use, the ways in which the poem engages the form and its conventions, and what is wonderful and what might be improved about the poem.

You will be expected to hand in 10-12 new and original poems, several of which will be in response to prompts or developed from in- class exercises. All poems will go through several revisions, the experience of which you will discuss in a preface to the course’s final portfolio of your original work. You will be expected to offer substantive written critique of peer work as well as participate actively in all workshops and class discussions. In preparation for class discussion, you will keep a writer’s journal of reflections on course readings.

Possible course texts: A Best American Poetry anthology and/or American Poetry Now (ed. Ed Ochester); Claims for Poetry (ed. Donald Hall); and a few individual collections of poetry (possibilities include: Beckman & Rohrer’s Nice Hat. Thanks.; Bowman’s Notarikon, Levis’ Winter Stars; McHugh’s Hinge & Sign; Walker’s Affrilachia).

To apply for admission to the course, place the following materials in a manila envelope in my BH442 mailbox (Romayne Rubinas Dorsey): --5 pages of what you consider your best poetry.
--A brief letter outlining your interest in the course and your background in creative writing (you should have taken at least one of the following: W103 or W203). Please include in your letter previous creative writing instructor’s name.
--Your name and a current email address. I will admit and notify students as they apply, so chances for admission increase with early submission of materials.

I will notify you via email of my decision and copy the program secretary who can clear admitted students for registration.