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POET 37 W — Writing Poems in a Burning World

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 9—Mar 17
Refund Deadline: Jan 12
Units: 3
Tuition: $955
Instructor(s): Jackson Holbert
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Jan 9—Mar 17
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 12
3 Units
Jackson Holbert
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times.

—Bertolt Brecht

In these times of public calamity, reading or writing poetry provides the opportunity to both engage with the wider world and examine our existence—with all its ills and joys—from a renewed vantage point. Poems allow us to concentrate our most intense feelings and hold them up to the light in ways that news and even prose cannot. Whether our poems entertain our joys or despairs, there will be singing.

In this course, we will study what goes into a successful poem and address the difficulties and rewards of writing poems about fraught or intense subjects—be they personal or global. We will discuss how poets like Lucille Clifton, Ada Limón, and Mary Oliver employ sound, form, and imagery to produce work that finds hope—and warmth—even in the coldest of places. We will use these poets and weekly prompts as a jumping-off point to enter our own work. Students will turn in a poem every other week, for a total of five poems, putting these works up for peer and instructor critique.

Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Jackson Holbert's work has appeared in The Nation, Narrative, and Poetry. He has taught poetry to communities in and around northern Idaho and also at The Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program and Stanford. He received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.