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POET 24 W — The Apprenticeship: Using Masterpiece Poems to Transform Your Poetry

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 14—Mar 22
Drop Deadline: Jan 17
Units: 3
Tuition: $895
Instructor(s): Greg Wrenn
Limit: 17
Status: Open
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is January 17 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is January 22 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Winter
Date(s)
Jan 14—Mar 22
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 17
3 Units
Fees
$895
Instructor(s):
Greg Wrenn
Limit
17
Open
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is January 17 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is January 22 at 5:00 pm (PT).
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—Sylvia Plath, Robert Hayden, and John Keats, 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.

Greg Wrenn, Former Jones Lecturer and Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; Assistant Professor of English, James Madison University

Greg Wrenn’s first book of poems, Centaur, was selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2013 Brittingham Prize. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2014, New England Review, AGNI, The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, the New Republic, and elsewhere. He is currently at work on Reef, an eco-memoir about his time at a remote reef in New Guinea, as well as The Minotaurs, his second poetry collection.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Helen Vendler, Poems, Poets, Poetry (Compact Third Edition) (ISBN 1457652196)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)