POET 30 W — The Poet’s Way
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Oct 25—Dec 3
Refund Deadline: Oct 28
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Instructor(s): Caroline Goodwin
Class Recording Available: Yes
Consider this course an immersion in a particular, highly individualized way of seeing and thinking. In a supportive and dynamic online community, students will begin to explore their own lives for poetic material. We will focus on cultivating the small but powerful habits necessary to a sustained poetry practice. Students will read works that range from the spiritual intensity of Gerard Manley Hopkins to the “magnificent dream” of Anne Waldman and the meditations of Robert Hass. Assignments will explore the pleasures of language, encourage students to play with content and form, and expand our sense of the possibilities of poetry. Each day, students will receive a writing prompt and will set a goal of freewriting to the prompt for a minimum of thirty minutes. These prompts will challenge us to dig into our memories and experiences, delving into our personal truths. The goal will be simply to express ourselves, without worrying about the ultimate form of our creativity. Students will also engage in conversation with fellow poets in the class, providing brief feedback to one classmate per day. They will complete this course with a strong poetry writing practice in place, connections to a lively community of creative people, and a clear direction for future endeavors.
Because of the high enrollment capacity, students will not receive instructor feedback on daily writing posts. Instead, students may receive light instructor feedback on one poem draft per week.
Caroline Goodwin's essay "A Widow's Guide to OKCupid" received second place in the 2019 Barry Lopez Nonfiction Contest. Her recent poetry collections are The Paper Tree, Custody of the Eyes, and Madrigals. From 2014 to 2016, she served as San Mateo County's first poet laureate. She received an MFA from the University of British Columbia.
Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.