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POET 38 W — Poetry Writing for Absolute Beginners

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—Jun 9
Refund Deadline: Apr 6
Units: 3
Tuition: $955
Instructor(s): Shann Ray
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Apr 3—Jun 9
10 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 6
3 Units
Shann Ray
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Whether you’ve been distracted by other things and want to start writing poems for the first time, or you have already written some poetry and want to deepen your practice, this course will energize, inspire, and inform you about the variety of poetic choices available to you. Salman Rushdie said a poet's work is "to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it from going to sleep." This course invites the aspiring poet to do just that: create poems that awaken and sing.

We will learn to generate ideas and compose powerful initial lines, practice what makes a poem progress well, and write endings that startle, console, or reveal. We will read and study selections from a poetry anthology, exploring lyric versus narrative poems, rhyming poetry versus free verse, and poetry fragments like those by Emily Dickinson. In weeks 1-5, writers will engage in developmental exercises and build the beginnings of poems; in weeks 6-10, each writer will submit three poems to small groups for constructive peer and instructor feedback. We'll also share insights on poetry during optional virtual meetings. Together, let’s embark on an artistic journey as we walk an uncommon path pursuing the love of poetry.

Poet; Systems Psychologist; Professor of Leadership Studies, Gonzaga University

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) Czeslaw Milosz (Ed.), A Book Of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry (ISBN 978-0156005746 )
(Required) Mary Oliver, Thirst: Poems (ISBN 978-0807068977 )