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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2008

E 325 • Creative Writing: Poetry

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35070 MW
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
PAR 302
Rosal, P

Course Description

This course will give you the chance to explore in depth the various tools of a poet: rhythm, assonance, line break, structure, etc. We will also explore the following questions (and many others) in one form or another: What is a lyric poem? What is a narrative poem? What is poetic form? How is a poem a mechanism to manage silence? How is a poem, according to Frost, "a temporary stay against confusion?" How do you read a poem aloud? What is the relationship between a poem and the oral tradition?

Primarily this course is about the endless ways there are to write poetry. It's a course where you will be encouraged to take chances, be strange, wild, and daring. What we want to get at as writers is the guts of poetry. We want to try to find out how to make poems that are, in the end, human. We want poems that touch us in the deepest and most complex ways.

Students will read three collections of poetry, two assigned and one chosen by the student (after consultation with the instructor). Craft (and its concomitant delights!) demand that one reads with the eye (and ear and fingertips, etc.) of a poet. The selections will be broadly complemented by handouts, i.e. poems, essays about poems, fragments, etc. and other media that may serve as sources for writing. Students will memorize poems, read poems aloud, discuss, listen, listen, listen, write from prompts in class and will be given plenty of assigned reading and writing to take with them. The course will culminate for each student in a portfolio which will include a self-evaluative essay and a slender collection of the student's best work revised.

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