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POET 31 W — Dwelling in Poems: An Introduction to Writing Poetry

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 21—Dec 4
Drop Deadline: Sep 24
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Austin Smith
Limit: 20
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 23. In addition, some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Fall
Flex Online(About Formats)
Date(s)
Sep 21—Dec 4
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 24
3 Units
Fees
$910
Instructor(s):
Austin Smith
Limit
20
Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 23. In addition, some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
This course is an introduction to the practice of poetry, which can also be thought of as the conversation between what we read and what we write. We will spend our ten weeks together reading widely, from some of the most famous poets in the language (e.g., Dickinson, Yeats) to the relatively unknown (recent Stegner fellows). This won’t, however, be your typical kind of “reading.” We will settle into these poems. We'll consider the life and vision of the architects, the layout of the rooms, the items on the mantles, and the pictures on the walls. Drawing on this lived experience in published poems, we will then write our own poetry. Students will submit a poem each week for feedback from both the instructor and their fellow students. We will employ imitation (writing in the long line of Whitman, for example) and use frequent writing prompts to give us access to material in our own lives. We also will consider how poems make their way into the world, and students will be encouraged to submit their work to journals and contests. By the end of the course, students will have become better readers of poetry and will have produced ten poems of their own, which they will revise, edit, and arrange into poetry chapbooks.

Austin Smith, Jones Lecturer; Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Austin Smith is the author of two poetry collections, Almanac and Flyover Country, and has received an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship. He teaches undergraduate courses in poetry, fiction, documentary journalism, and environmental literature at Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Matthew Zapruder, Why Poetry?, Ecco; Reprint edition (June 12, 2018) (ISBN 978-0062343086)
(Recommended) Ed. by Robin Behn & Chase Twitchell, The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach (ISBN 9780062730244)
(Recommended) Mary Kinzie, A Poet's Guide to Poetry, University of Chicago Press; Second edition (July 8, 2013) (ISBN 978-0226923062)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)