In this class, we’ll read personal essays, mostly contemporary American, and poems from all over. We'll read some essays that are built along traditional lines (chronological, logical, etc.) and some that are segmented and nonlinear. You’ll write several essays, drawing from your experience in idiosyncratic and unpredictable ways. You’ll also write very short responses to the readings that will form the core of a writer’s notebook, useful in generating more writing.
We’ll read some very contemporary and some very old poetry structured like lists, without the familiar organizing principles of rhyme and closed endings. We’ll read and write poems in what are accurately called “obsessive forms," poems that contain, magnify and alter their subjects, and poems in very new forms that include sampling, repetition, etc. We’ll read, and write, prose poems and perhaps some forms of your own design.
The class is structured along familiar discussion/workshop designs. You’ll be responsible for presenting your work periodically, and for responding to the work of others in writing and in class.