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POET 19 W — Writing Poetry: Shaping Language and Sound

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 25—Dec 8
Drop Deadline: Sep 28
Units: 3
Tuition: $880
Instructor(s): Kimberly Grey
Limit: 17
Status: Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 10/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Sep 25—Dec 8
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 28
3 Units
Fees
$880
Instructor(s):
Kimberly Grey
Limit
17
Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 10/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote that a poem is “the best words in the best order.” Much like a symphony, each component of a poem has to come together to create one harmonious piece. It must sound beautiful enough to provoke emotion, yet be accessible enough to derive meaning. In this poetry course, open to writers of all levels, we will read a variety of work by famous poets including W.S. Merwin, Adrienne Rich, Mary Oliver, Mark Doty, Louise Glück, and others, and explore the various formal elements from which they shape their poems. We will examine the function of diction, line, rhythm, sound, image, tone, and emotion, and how each element is just one part of a larger poetic whole. Through course discussions, we will explore various ways to avoid writing cliché or forgettable poems and how to battle writer’s block, and we will share revision techniques. Students will complete weekly writing assignments and participate in lively discussions that will help them learn how to shape their poems into moving and exciting pieces. Mostly, students will be awakened to the pleasures of poetry and become part of a welcoming, engaging community of writers.

Kimberly Grey, Marsh McCall Lecturer in Continuing Studies; Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Kimberly Grey’s first book, The Opposite of Light, received the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and was published in 2016. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including the Kenyon Review, Tin House, A Public Space, The Southern Review, Boston Review, and the Best New Poets anthology. She received an MFA in poetry from Adelphi, where she has also taught.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) J.D. McClatchy, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, Second Edition (ISBN 978-1400030934)
(Required) Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook (ISBN 978-0156724005)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)