fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Fall Quarter

Fall Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Creative Writing

POET 11 W — Tuning Our Ears: A Poetry Workshop

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 20—Dec 3
Refund Deadline: Sep 23
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Esther Lin
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 22
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Sep 20—Dec 3
10 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 23
3 Units
Esther Lin
Please Note: No class the week of November 22
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
How do you start a poem? What finds you first: the image, the sound of a phrase, or something else? All writers have a poetic ear: one that is tuned to what they find beautiful, bold, and truthful. In this poetry course, we will discover what that means to each student and how they can sharpen that sense. We will spend the first few weeks forming good writerly habits through creative exercises inspired by prompts and discussion of process. We will become more sensitive readers of poems by such contemporary masters as Louise Glück, David Hernandez, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Yanyi, each with distinctly different poetic ears of their own. We will study the decisions these poets make from poem to poem, like how the speaker’s voice controls the movements in Glück’s poetry, whereas the juxtaposition of images, rather than voice, guides the reader in Hernandez’s. Students will write five poems, which the class will respond to constructively in a workshop format. By the end of the course, students should have developed a poetic ear sensitive enough to evaluate their own work and go forward writing confidently on their own.

This course is a safe platform for new, curious writers to explore poetry and also appropriate for students wishing to deepen their practice.

Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Esther Lin was a 2020 Writing Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is the author of The Ghost Wife and received Crab Orchard Review’s 2018 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Hyperallergic, New England Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, and elsewhere.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Joseph O. Legaspi, Threshold (ISBN 9781933880631)
(Required) Yusef Komunyakaa, Magic City (ISBN 9780819512086)
(Required) Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Song (ISBN 9781880238134)
(Required) Anne Sexton, Love Poems (ISBN 9780395957776)
(Recommended) Kim Addonizio & Dorianne Laux, The Poet's Companion (ISBN 9780393316544)