Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All Workshop Poems Distributed Today

were on time. All sestinas read in class, this morning, were as well.

Everyone else is late. Please be aware that without the distribution of your poems, you have put us one day behind for workshopping and that you are still expected to bring sufficient copies for your peers and for me for workshop.

Today's homework involves writing an English or an Italian sonnet (I went over them thoroughly in class but to all of you who missed you can self-educate by looking them up on google or in this case, wikipedia does a decent job of illustrating and distinguishing.)

Your peers were sent to a gallery or museum to select a piece of art upon which to base the sonnet. These are due tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The other links I promised you:
Litany...by Richard Siken

Ilya Kaminsky

P.S. I received Taij Silverman's book yesterday--every expected deliciousness. I'll give you some of the elegies (the Little by Littles). For now, it's a weekend full of music, start listening...

(and I'll see you Tuesday).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Week Two

June 23, Tuesday : Reading of Silverman imitations. Intro to formal verse or Jenike's book (depending on which is available). In-Class Writing assignment based on "Refusing Sinatra" by Lesley Jenike p. 79 in Ghost of Fashion and/or "Those Winter Sundays"
by Robert Hayden.
Additional conditions for this piece include:
1.Every other line must be ten syllables. (The in-between lines can be any number with the condition that you must still consider the line as a unit of attention. )
2. Include a kind of fabric
3. a kind of stone
4. The use of three colors
5. The name of a street, landmark, or body of water.
6. Some comparison or reference to a historical or biblical story, or a fairytale, myth, or fable.
7. Include at least three fictions, lies or inventions.
Handing out of workshop poems.
Homework: Comment on the workshop poems. Remember to read them through once, no marking, second time through you make comments about how your reading changed through the poem now that you know it in its entirety. Third time you add any more things that work or don't work, additional suggestions or ways to revise or expand.

June 24 Wednesday: Read new poems aloud.
Workshop poems.
Homework: (Google and then) Read poems by Eliot Khalil Wilson, Tenaya Darlington, Arielle Greenberg, Mark Doty, Tim Early, Alan May, Mark Doty, Simone Muench

Imitate one of their poems or general gestures and include too,
at least two examples of slant or off-rhyme and internal rhyme.
Also, one example of assonance, consonance and alliteration.

June 25 Thursday: Complete workshops. Read homework poems aloud.
Introduction to formal verse.
Homeowork: Write a sestina.
Have next poems read to distribute for Workshop Two. Please include enough copies for yourself and others, ready to distribute at the BEGINNING of class.
Next poem: villanelle.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homework and Week Two Agenda

For Thursday night's homework, I would like you to consider Taije Silverman's Poem to Keep What I Love and to write a list poem in imitation. Your poem should be in six sections, a minimum of five lines each. You might examine how Silverman employs anaphora, direct address, etc. I would like to see one use of a declarative statement with one modification to it.
Example: I want to tell you. This isn't unhappiness. It's the last good light of the permanent afternoon.

For Tuesday: Come in with the Silverman imitation and/or as/ your poems to be workshopped.
Make sure that your workshop poem or poems are typed and that you have made suffiicient copies for our class. (8 copies should do it.)

(Remember our new start time.)

Degrees of Gray in Yourburg

If you weren't in class and don't have the copy of Richard Hugo's poem: Degrees of Gray in Phillipsburg then google to remedy that first.

Okay, all Hugo-ed up? Then, write a poem about the town you know well. Use as much CONCRETE detail as possible and make it a minimum of fifteen lines. Think about your lines and line breaks as units of attention.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


To those of you in attendance on Day One of our class, thank you. To those of you who may have missed or need a reminder about the day's homework, see below.

1. Books: Rhyme's Reason by John Hollander. Ghost of Fashion by Lesley Jenike.
2. Homework: Write an epistolary poem to an abstraction. Use as many concrete images as you can, including at least one image from each of the five senses. The poem should be at least ten lines long. Use at least one metaphor and one simile. (When the moon hits your eye like an atomic pie...)


Have fun and see you tomorrow.