Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just a note about absences

I am expecting that you are keeping track of your own and that for those of you who have workshops, you are aware that missing a distribution day or missing your own workshop will take the grade of your piece down by ten percent. (That is a full letter grade.) That is just the grade for the piece itself. You also lose participation points that day. Your overall grade is impacted immensely. Those of you in Adv. Creative Writing have only one meeting a week, missing that means missing around ten percent of the class that you paid for. Missing twice should make it impossible for you to pass. Please take note of all of this.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Adv. Creative Writing In-Class Writing Assignment

Go to your most troublesome or mysterious character, or to a character you are hoping to create. Empty his/her pockets, wallet, purse, look at his/her keychain. Consider all personal affects. Where did they come from? What do they symbolize? What does your character drive or ride? Does s/he have something hanging from the mirror of their dash? What and why? At least one of these items should be an item that is classified, ( name of a bone, a kind of mineral, the specific name of a cloud, etc.)

The assignment is two parts:
1. Go through the above paragraph and list these things and any notes or small "stories" that connect to them.

2. In at least two pages, write a scene where one or more of these things figure in. You needn't use many of them, but you should know they exist, and what they mean. Also,when you write the scene, don't awkwardly use the objects just to get them in the scene. Write a flowing scene where the object/s appear, even casually without getting hung up on getting all or many of them in. They might come in later and they will inform your sense of the character just by your having figured them out and knowing the character that much better.

Visiting Artist, Charlene Fix: TODAY

11:00 a.m. Canzani Auditorium

Be there.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ekphrasis Syllabus Update

T: Completion of The Red Shoes
H: Discussion of fairytale. In-class composition.

Homework: Read Introduction through page 38 in Poets on Painters
Read: Matisse by Gertrude Stein
Write a poem based on what you were given in class today. (ten line minimum, any interpretation, any form)

T: Discussion of readings & poems. Invention of imaginary artist. (Looking at Pessoa, etc.)

H: Presentation and turn-in of postcard poems. Finishing discussion on reading. Starting The Realms of the Unreal.
Ashbery Reading:
John D'Agata in Boston Review on John Ashbery
Biographical notes on John Ashbery

Perloff's review of Girls on the Run

This fascinating tie-in between poet John Ashbery (who wrote about Darger's Vivien Girls) and Joseph Cornell (the artist who inspired Simic's Dimestore Alchemy.

And this short review
plus this brief excerpt from the poem.

T: "These fragments I shore against my ruin." Class Discussion of Ashbery poems, the New York School, etc. .

H: Using the galleries Canzani first floor, museum, etc. write a New York poem, but make it New York in style and about Ohio or a place you know well.

Your Darger Pieces.
New York Poem (about your own "New York"

DO NOT FORGET: Matt Hart's Reading on Monday. He is wonderful, strange, energetic, not to be missed. (He also keeps a fun blog, teaches at an art school, plays in a band, and writes some very cool poems. )

Homework & an overview of upcoming assignments:

1. A collage or mosaiced telling in the fashion of Darger. It needn't be a whole story but narrative should, in some way, come through the
That assignment is due on Tuesday March 6.

2. Begin to lay out a project written after one of the imaginary pieces by your imaginary artist. Remember that you can edit or modify the biography or add on to it to allow for the ideal piece of inspiration. Fully imagine the piece that you'll be using to inspire your piece. Which elements will inform what you do? Which lines or images will you modify or disregard? Will your piece reflect some aspect of the imaginary piece or it will continue the story, begin before or after the narrative of the piece you are working off of? If the piece isn't necessarily narrative, how will you use its style or suggested shapes and images to allow room for yours? This project will be due mid March (after I return from the conference and after you do your Darger/Ashbery pieces.) Begin thinking about your medium, as well as the details of the imagined pieces, body of work and biographical materials of the artist you're working from. Take notes, begin planning, as this will be one of your big assignments. For those of you going to Greece, I will be having you keeping notes in a journal that is by your imaginary artist, so really find a way to make this a figure to which you are fully-engaged, commited as well as intrigued and inspired by.

3. Your Cornell assignment will be select a piece of artwork or literature and depict it in a Joseph Cornell type box. This piece will not be due until late March. (Make sure you have your Dimestore Alchemy books on order as I'd like for you to be reading them by early March.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Girls on the Run by John Ashbery is at the library on reserve for our class. Drop in and read a bit of it, if you'd like.

Have a great weekend and don't forget that Monday is a required visiting writer. (Charlene Fix.)

This goes for you, too Contemporary Lit. and Advanced Creative Writing.

See you all soon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Adv. Creative Writing Assignment

The take-home, outside assignment. This should be a scene or a new story or an existing narrative.

1. A metaphor involving a character and a weather condition or a season.
2. The name of some piece of art on display now (on campus) and not your own, that is threaded into your narrative (but not as a piece of art).
3. Use at least three "found" objects.
4. Include one creature seen this afternoon.
5. One passerby described (not someone that you know).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Contemporary Literature Syllabus

Catalog ID: LA496 Section: 01 Course Name: Contemporary Literature
Course Prerequisite: LA190 / Lecture or LA190 / e-Learning
Term: Autumn Meeting Day(s): Tuesday, Thursday Meeting Time(s): 2-3:20 p.m.
Class Location: KH208 Faculty Name: Sophia Kartsonis
Class Blog: www.zeldaville.blogspot.com
Department: Liberal Arts Division: English Email: Skartsonis@ccad.edu

Office Hours: T 9-11, H 10-11, Office Location: Kinney Hall
Course Description:
Involves the critical study of recent literature emphasizing characteristic forms and themes. Attention is given to the short story, novel, poetry, drama and experimental prose forms. The course will involve a combination of written assignments, discussions, traditional essays and quizzes, as well as creative responses to works of various contemporary poets and writers. Texts and emphases will vary with professor. 3 credits, meets for a total of 3 hours.
Course Goal: Learning to read, discuss and analyze contemporary works of literature.

Course Learning Outcomes: Students will examine literature from both a reader’s and writer’s perspective. Through a variety of presentations, group work, verbal and written responses, students will familiarize themselves with the themes that good writing illuminates, as well as learn how the ability to critique a piece of writing can hone critical thinking skills in the world outside the book.

CCAD Learning Goals:
Through the careful reading and analysis of poetry, drama, and varieties of prose, the course is designed to help students connect words and images into thoughtful responses and help them to master the art of reading texts and real-life situations with care.
Required Course Materials:
Required Text(s):
The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction (You can bargain-shop, go used, etc. but be sure you get this edition so that we can all have the same material from which to refer.)
All links and handouts provided in class or through the blog.

What: LA496-02 Contemporary Literature
When: Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:30-1:50
Where: KH 224
Who: Sophia Kartsonis
Required Texts:

Week One 01/17-01/19
T: Introduction
The Thursday readings will be discussed in class. (You didn't have reading homework on Tuesday but will on Thursday night.)
H: Discussion Forche’s The Colonel and the Notion of Appropriation
Homework: Those Winter Sundays Robert Hayden
Elegy for Jane Theodore Roethke
September 1, 1939 W.H. Auden
Channel Firing Thomas Hardy
Homework: Read Everyday Use by Alice Walker.
T: Discussion poems
H: Continued discussion
WEEK THREE 01/30-02/02
T: Discussion Everyday Use
H: Voices & Visions Robert Frost
Homework: Read all poems (on right links) and the biography (center screen) on the following link.


Stories I mentioned in class to be read:
The first two in your anthology: the Russell Banks and Donald Barthleme, as well as Girl by Jamaica Kinkaid.

Thursday Discussion of stories you talked about in groups, as well as Girl and My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke.

Homework: Next readings involve formal poetry and your formal poem imitation assignment due Tuesday 02/28.
For the reading, be sure to always begin with reading the description about the kind of poem it is. It's rather dry and technical reading but important that you try to understand the structure as we examine poems that are written in the same manner. (And as you will be imitating one of the forms in order to write your own poem.)


The Sonnet
Description and all of the poems to the left.

The Villanelle
Dylan Thomas: Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night
Elizabeth Bishop: One Art
Peter Cole: Improvisation...
(All of the poem links are on the left of the page for the villanelle on Poets.org)

All the poems on the left of the description of the sestina plus
Elizabeth Bishop's Sestina.

Week of O2/25-02/28

T: Discussion of Formal Verse
H: Continued discussion

Week of 03/06-03/08

T: Formal poems due

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Advanced Creative Writing

KH 207
Mondays 12:30-3:20

01/23 Week One:
Students’ Project Goals.

01/30 Week Two:
Discuss collaboration.
Beckman & Rohrer on Poetry.org
Interview at PBQ (Beckman & Roher)
Amongst other things, a manifesto for collaboration (Seaton & Duhamel)

It’s not for everyone: collaboration. But in a class where most of you are more than mildly interested in writing, you are likely to meet the kind of people who have the right kinds of brains for you. Collaboration is one way to play while you work and to make of the play an exercise for new ways of exploring how it is that you write or might like to stretch your ways of writing.
In-Class Assignment: Collaborations
1. Read and comment upon Alejandro’s story. (This will be emailed to you shortly.)
2. Read all of the introduction, plus the first three chapters of Writing Shapely Fiction. (Fa├žade, Juggling, Iceberg.) The chapters are very short so it’s not as much as it seems.
3. Type up your collaborations (from in-class assignment) and bring two copies for the next class.
Read Last Lap through Bear at the Door in Making Shapely Fiction.
Read and carefully critique Alejandro's story for next week's workshop.
Week Three
Workshop of Alejandro's story. Distribution of stories by Quinniqua and Seth.
Discussion of pages 15-47 in Making Shapely Fiction.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Advanced Creative Writing

Alejandro's story has now been sent to you via email. I don't know how the formatting will look and the challenges of doing things this way have led me to decide that we'll go back to my old method of writers bringing in enough copies for the class.

For this round, paste the story into word, print it and comment on it for the workshop.

I saw this article and thought some of you might find it useful and interesting.