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POET 28 W — Crafting Poems of Beauty and Power

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Dec 9
Refund Deadline: Sep 29
Units: 3
Tuition: $955
Instructor(s): Shann Ray
Limit: 18
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class the week of November 21
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Sep 26—Dec 9
10 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 29
3 Units
Shann Ray
Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class the week of November 21
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In fragments found on the backs of envelopes, Emily Dickinson wrote of hope, work, and immortality in the form of a bird, a bumblebee, and a carriage. Her circumscribed life provided fodder to write about big ideas using the images available to her. Even in the isolation the stunning chaos of life brings to so many, the good soil of poetry awaits. In this course, you will discover ways not only to use what you see all around you in order to access big ideas, but also to think like Dickinson and write beyond the confines of what you know. We will study elements of poetry, from what triggers a poem to the sonic delight of lines, tackling the challenge of writing about transformative things and experiencing the joy of finding the right ending. We’ll learn how poets like Joy Harjo, Natalie Diaz, and Layli Long Soldier use image, sound, history, and vision to craft poems of beauty and power. We’ll then apply these techniques to weekly writing assignments, reviewed in online workshops, and also share our poems during optional virtual meetings. Upon completion of the course, students will better understand how great ideas feed poetic form and have a group of poems ready for publication.

Poet; Systems Psychologist; Professor

Shann Ray's work has been featured in Poetry, Esquire, Narrative, Ploughshares, and McSweeney's. An NEA fellow, he is the recipient of the American Book Award, the Bakeless Prize, the High Plains Book Award in both poetry and fiction, the SubTerrain Poetry Prize, and the Poetry Quarterly Poetry Prize. His books include Atomic Theory 7, Balefire, Sweetclover, and American Copper, and he has served as a visiting scholar of leadership and forgiveness studies in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Joy Harjo, When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (ISBN 978-0393356809)
(Required) Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem (ISBN 978-1644450147)
(Required) John Murillo, Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (ISBN 978-1945588471)
(Required) Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (ISBN 978-0822963318)