POET 24 W — The Apprenticeship: Using Masterpiece Poems to Transform Your Poetry
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 21—Aug 27
Refund Deadline: Jun 24
Instructor(s): Greg Wrenn
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (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—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.
Greg Wrenn’s first book, Centaur, received the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2014, The Georgia Review, New England Review, AGNI, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, and elsewhere. He is completing a memoir about using coral reefs to heal from childhood trauma, and Origin, his second poetry collection.
Former Jones Lecturer and Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; Assistant Professor of English, James Madison University
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Helen Vendler, Poems, Poets, Poetry, Compact Third Edition (ISBN 978-1457652196)