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POET 40 W — Lyric Life: Write Poems That Challenge the Everyday

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 26—Sep 1
Refund Deadline: Jun 29
Units: 3
Tuition: $955
Instructor(s): Austin Araujo
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Jun 26—Sep 1
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jun 29
3 Units
Austin Araujo
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

—Walt Whitman

Poetry happens in the routine and contradictions of daily life. Like Whitman, we all contain multitudes. Poems allow us to perceive what’s beautiful in our ordinary existence and find what is heartening within devastation.

This course will emphasize the writer’s task of transforming one’s feelings, memories, and questions into poetry. We will ask ourselves: How do we convert experience into language that can challenge, console, and embolden us to view the world anew? We will test the capacities of the tools of poetry—especially image, repetition, and form—to hold our encounters with the world.

To work toward this, we will study poems and essays by poets such as Pablo Neruda, Nikky Finney, Robert Hayden, and Tracy K. Smith, among others, for the manner in which they can expand one small detail of their daily lives into a recital of song and surprise. We will use these readings, and weekly poetic exercises, as models for how to successfully transform the contradictions and mundane aspects of life into poetry. Students will turn in a total of five poems or lyric experiments, putting them up for workshop and instructor feedback.

Stegner Fellow in Poetry, Stanford

Austin Araujo's work has appeared in Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Adroit Journal, The Missouri Review, Shenandoah, Memorious, Four Way Review, and The Rumpus, among others. He has taught creative writing at Indiana University and Stanford. He received an MFA in poetry from Indiana University, where he was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.