English 203: Introduction to Writing Poetry

(Chambers 2209, Tuesday and Thursday 11:35 - 12:50 PM)

Imagine that a starship is about to launch, and we really want you to come hop around the galaxy with us. We can do it together. This class concerns itself with the ways in which language is a means of construction and communication. They are our planets and stars. Language builds and allows for communication in complex ways. Poetic language is, among many things, heightened use of language as such. It is like going beyond the light speed. We might even leap into the multiverse.

So, to get our starship working, we will focus on mechanical elements of poetry construction. Each week, we will read poems that exemplify important aspects of poetry like syntax, tone, imagery, endings, prosody, and others. Throughout these adventures, you will workshop your peers’ poetry. Workshop is meant to create and foster a supportive critical environment from which our writing can develop and improve. By the end of this course, you will have tools to critically engage many forms of writing, develop methods for discussions regarding craft and composition, and grow as a poet yourself.


Learning Goals:

·         This course assumes that a poet writes and reads. In this class, you will do both.

·         We will read published poetry each week and think about the specific choices that the poets made and the impact that these choices had on our reading experience.

·         We will learn about specific elements of craft and how the writers employed them in each piece.

·         This course has a workshop component. Workshop is the practice of offering helpful praise and constructive suggestions that will help the poet during the revision process.

·         We will form a safe and supportive workshop environment for one another and learn what it means to be a member of a writing community.