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POET 24 W — The Apprenticeship: Transform Your Poetry by Learning from the Masters

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): Greg Wrenn
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
Greg Wrenn
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
What can the great master poets teach us about finding inspiration and direction for our own writing? Each week, you will apprentice yourself to a different outstanding poet—Louise Glück, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Carl Phillips, among others. We won’t just read their poems; we will seek to understand their work from the inside out. Just as a painting student might render a study of a Cézanne, or a dancer might emulate the choreography of Alvin Ailey, you will imitate, analyze, and argue with an exceptional poem each week, and compose exciting new work of your own. At first you will spend time familiarizing yourself with poetic terms and concepts (What is blank verse?) and improving your ability to analyze and evaluate poems (What makes Shakespeare’s sonnets so great, if you think they are great?). For the rest of the quarter, we will be workshopping your original work and exploring various aspects of poetic craft. As you become a better reader of exceptional poems, you will become a better poet. By the end of the course, you will have a sheaf of new work, a greater appreciation for the poetic tradition, and the tools to engage the greats—as teachers, foils, and inspiration.

Former Jones Lecturer and Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; Associate Professor of English, James Madison University

Greg Wrenn is the author of Mothership, a forthcoming memoir about using coral reefs and psychedelic plants to heal from trauma, and Centaur, which received the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Georgia Review, New England Review, AGNI, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, and elsewhere. He is completing Homesick, his second poetry collection.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Helen Vendler, Poems, Poets, Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology, Compact 3rd Edition (ISBN 978-1457652196)