• Rhetoric of Poetry – Poetry Workshop

    124 | CCN: 77902

    Instructor: Barbara Claire Freeman

    Date / Time: CANCELLED

    4 Units

    This creative-writing poetry workshop explores the myriad ways in which contemporary American poetry functions. Our focus is on the craft of reading, writing, and revising poetry. Although there are no formal prerequisites, the class is not an introduction: prospective students should have some background in modern/contemporary poetry. The course is organized into three parts. We’ll begin by close-reading some outstanding examples of contemporary poetry: our goal is to understand how great poems work so that we may learn from their craft. To this end we’ll explore sonic patterns (rhythm, rhyme, stress, duration) and examine the construction of the poetic “line,” especially in its relationship to syntax and the sentence. Students will also do weekly exercises on these topics. In the second and longest part of the class we will "workshop" your poems. Each week you will either turn in a poem for workshop or write one page of comments on your classmate’s poems, giving copies to them and to me. During the last three weeks of the class you’ll revise two of your poems, practice reading them aloud, and help organize our Poetry Reading.


    Work for this class includes weekly writing assignments, learning to read your work aloud, and helping to plan and participate in a class poetry reading. Other requirements include possible quizzes and/or brief reports on assigned reading.


    Course Reader: The Course Reader is available at Instant Copying and Laser, 2138 University Ave., bet. Oxford & Shattuck, phone: 704-9700. We will begin using material from the reader by the second week of class. Please purchase it as soon as enrollment is settled.
    Bright Brave Phenomena, Amanda Nadelberg
    Ghost Machine, Ben Mirov
    Please purchase Bright Brave Phenomena and Ghost Machine only at University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, 548-0585. Nadelberg and Mirov will be visiting our class to discuss poems from these books and it is important that you bring their books to class. University Press Books is hosting our poetry reading and needs your support. I intend to plan at class meeting at UPB to purchase these books and see the space where you will read. A discount on these books may be available.


    Waitlist yourself. I can’t enroll you unless you are already waitlisted.

    Email me the following (bcf1@earthlink.net) at a time/date we’ll determine in class:

    1) Please write me a note about yourself including the following information: your name, contact information, major/minor, year of graduation, and your background in poetry, for example, the date and location of classes and workshops you’ve taken, all activities related to reading/writing poetry, why you’d like to take this class.

    2) Please write a phrase or sentence that responds to each item in this list. You can make each item a line or not, as you prefer. Place the items in any order you like; there’s no need to follow the order you see here. You can lineate your list or write it as a prose block or any other way that suits. Make sure to bring hard copy to class on Thurs., leaving your name off the page.

    An image from a scary dream.

    A line or phrase from a favorite song.

    Part or all of one sentence from a favorite eighteenth or nineteenth-century novel.

    Take a book off the shelf. Open it at random. Copy all or part of the first sentence you see.

    An image from a beautiful and/or happy dream.

    Language from a page on any social media site.

    Your favorite and/or least favorite ice cream or e-cigarette flavors.

    Your favorite jewels, semi-precious stones, and/or colors.

    A line or phrase from a beloved or detested poem.