Mia Ayumi Malhotra
Intensive study of the ways and means of making a poem.
"I see the life of North American poetry at the end of the century as a pulsing, racing convergence of tributaries--regional, ethnic, racial, social, sexual--that, rising from lost or long-blocked springs, intersect and infuse each other while reaching back to the strengths of their origins. (Adrienne Rich, "History Stops for No One")
In this course we will examine the workings and origins of this "pulsing, racing convergence of tributaries" through the study of poetic craft elements such as meter, line, stanza, form, image, syntax, etc., as well as the wider social themes indexed in contemporary English-language poetry. Through intensive close reading, written exercises, and formal writing assignments, we will approach poetic texts as communicative and artistic acts, artifacts of culture and history, and creative works best understood through the lens of the writer him/herself. We will learn to read as writers--to be attentive to sound, sense, and the workings of tone--and to write as readers: with the understanding that writing is a social act, and that every poem is in some way a response to the overlapping "regional, ethnic, racial, social, and sexual" identities that comprise our twenty-first century selves.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading