Tuesday, January 12, 2010

spring semester

To answer the question: What are you taking next semester? For those unfamiliar with our system, the U of MN has students attend half-time and teach the other half. Two classes counts as a half-load, and teaching assignments vary. Last semester and this semester I have a stand-alone comp class the university calls "First Year Writing" technically under the designation of "Writing Studies." Last spring I TA'ed two sections of Contemporary American Literature under a professor who had lecture twice a week and the autumn before, I taught the discussion section of Intro to Creative Writing, which was once a week and the lecture had rotating guest writers come in. Next year, I'm slated to teach two stand-alone classes: one semester will be Intro to Poetry Writing and the other will be Intermediate Poetry Writing. (I'm already dreaming up book lists.)

For now, these are the two classes I'm taking for the spring; I've opted out of an overload, though last semester I took three classes (Reading as Writers: Memoir with Trish Hampl, Poetry Thesis Seminar, and an Independent Study to cover my lit requirement on Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop) and survived.

I also intern with the department and am poetry editor of the literary magazine dislocate.

(Course descriptions from the website.)

1. EngW 5310: Reading as Writers: Reading Poetry

This is a course on poetry with a primary emphasis on lyric verse written in England, Ireland, and America from the end of the Middle Ages to the present. Our emphasis will be on prosody, craftmanship, versification. Literary scholars can hone skills of argument and exegesis answerable to an array of theoretical and historical perspectives and it will offer writers a chance to think about the aesthetic consequences of a variety of romal choices. We'll begin with a unit on poetic line in isolation before turning to questions of meter, scansion, enjambment, end-stopping, rhyme and free verse. We will move on to English stanza forms: couplets, quatrains, tercets, rhyme royal, ottava rima, Spenserian stanza. We will then move to sonnets, ballads, villanelles, songs, hymns, monologues, elegies. Our final unti will take up three poets who have a complex relationship to the poetic past: Yeats, Eliot, Stevens. Requirements; a journal that will include several exercises in versification and a final exegetical paper (10-12 pages).
Book: Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th Edition

2. EngW 8120: Seminar: Writing of Poetry: Politics of Poetic Forms

This course focuses on the current state of contemporary American Poetry and how its forms have changed. We'll discuss the evolution from deep image lyricism to language-poetic fragmentation to fresh approaches toward line, image, and phrase. We will debate the notion that American poetry has evolved into a "hybrid" form that bridges old schools of poetic thought. Close reading of texts by key poets, along with craft talks centered on poems each student will submit, should lead toward a deeper immersion into the shifting terrain of the modern poem. Each student will create and submit one major project centered on American poetry and its vast changes. This project will require a combination of written paper, performance, and media presentation. Required texts: American Hybrid: Anthology of New Poetry (Cole Swenson, David St. John); A Wave, John Ashbery; The Complete Poems, Elizabeth Bishop; Averno, Louise Gluck; Selected Poems, George Oppen; Hotel Insomnia, Charles Simic.


Denise | Chez Danisse said...


Jessie Carty said...

sounds like some great course work :)

i'm hoping to get to a writer's conference this summer cause i do mit a bit of the scholarly end of school!