This intensive study of poetry will be run in a seminar and workshop format. With the understanding that reading and writing are inextricably linked, there will be weekly reading and writing assignments. We will read widely in order to: 1) develop a vocabulary for discussing poetry (impress your friends by using "spondee" in everyday conversation!); 2) understand traditional poetic forms (e.g. sonnet, sestina) and the use of such forms today; and 3) become familiar with the range of work being written by contemporary American poets. We will write frequently in order to undertake process exercises and experiments designed to unleash the creative imagination, and work toward a portfolio of 10-12 pages of poetic work by the end of the semester. Students will be introduced to the workshop format and have the opportunity to have their own worked discussed. In addition, each student will be asked to give a short oral report on a poet chosen in consultation with the instructor. No prior experience with poetry is required. I do ask that you bring a willingness to engage intensively in your own poetic process, and a sense of adventure.