English 100P - Spring, 2016

Creative Writing: Poetry

Class Information

Instructor: Peterson, Kathleen
Time: TR 3:10-4:30
Location: 308 Voorhies


    Admission is by application and acceptance of the instructor (application available online)

    This course is a workshop in poetry for students who wish to write their own and develop a writing practice. To best do this, we will also study the way poems are crafted by looking closely at how they are written by other people, dead and alive, famous and not, absent and present. “Split the lark—” writes Emily Dickinson, “—and you’ll find the music.” We’ll open up the poems and think about what makes them work. Our ultimate goal is to write memorable work with an attention to the pleasures and strategies language offers and an interest in the challenges language presents. Our small numbers will ensure that each student’s work will receive ample discussion by the class. We’ll learn (and steal from) the poems of a classic American poet (Emily Dickinson), the poems of a lesser-known American poet (from California), and a book length poem by a Danish poet (in English translation, of course), alongside selections from contemporary writers in poetry and prose.


    Students will be asked to comment on each other’s work, and on the reading, in class and in written form. About ten new poems will be expected from each student over the course of the quarter, with a few revisions (turned in as a series of packets) and a final portfolio. We will also write a few poems based on assignments and formal constraints.


    The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Reading Edition , Emily Dickinson
    Winter Stars, Larry Levis
    alphabet, Inger Christensen