Summer 2005
Fully Enrolled

HUMS 620
Intensive Poetry Writing Workshop


06/27/2005 - 07/11/2005
Note: Special Schedule -

Public Affairs Center 136

This class will immerse students in poetry reading and writing throughout a period of three weeks. During our sessions, we will undertake a wide variety of in-class writing experiments; read the work of many recent and contemporary poets; and discuss our own work with each other. The overarching theoretical construct of the class will engage the question of internal vs. external sources for our writing. To this end, the first week will explore "inscapes"--landscapes of the mind, memory-writing, poetry somehow derived from the "facts of our feelings," while the second week will focus on poetry derived from external sources--landscapes, portraiture, found poetry, historical/documentary work, poems written in persona, and so on. In our third week, we will focus on the inevitable blurring of boundaries between the two, and work toward completing a portfolio of poetry from our experiments.

First-week reading will most likely include well-known "inscape" writers such as Emily Dickinson, Robert Creeley, Paul Celan, Sylvia Plath, and Fanny Howe. In our second week, we will likely look at pieces by Walt Whitman, James Schuyler, Elizabeth Bishop, Van Jordan, Michael Ondaatje, and Brenda Coultas.

Grades will be based on general effort, class participation, and a portfolio of revised writing.

The class schedule is 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 27-Friday, July 1; Tuesday, July 1-Friday, July 8; Monday, July 11.

Some previous experience in writing poetry is preferable but not required; students are expected to have an abiding interest in poetic exploration, a questing spirit, and pen and paper.

A syllabus for this course is available at:

Lisa Jarnot (B.A. SUNY Buffalo; M.F.A. in creative writing, Brown University) is author of three books of poems: Some Other Kind of Mission (Burning Deck Press, 1996), Ring of Fire (Zoland Books, 2001 and Salt Publishers, 2003), and Black Dog Songs (Flood Editions, 2003). Her biography of the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan is forthcoming from University of California Press. She teaches at Long Island University, Bard College, and in Brooklyn College's MFA in creative writing program.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Ron Padgett, THE TEACHERS AND WRITERS HANDBOOK (Teachers and Writers Collaborative), Paperback

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