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POET 28 W — Poetry Workshop: Crafting Poems of Beauty and Power

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 1—Jun 7
Refund Deadline: Apr 4
Units: 3
Tuition: $1000
Instructor(s): Shann Ray
Limit: 19
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Apr 1—Jun 7
10 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 4
3 Units
Shann Ray
ACCESS 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 of Leadership Studies, Gonzaga University

Shann Ray, a poet and prose writer, teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University, poetry at Stanford, and poetry for the Center for Contemplative Leadership at Princeton Theological Seminary. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, he has served as a visiting scholar of forgiveness and genocide in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. He is the recipient of the American Book Award, the High Plains Book Award, and the Foreword Book of the Year Readers’ Choice Award, and his work comprises a libretto and 15 books, including Atomic Theory 7, American Masculine, Sweetclover, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke, The Souls of Others, and Transparent in the Backlight. His work has been featured in Poetry, Esquire, Narrative, McSweeney’s, Big Sky Journal, and America.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Joy Harjo (ed.), 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)