ENGL 133
New Poetry Spring 2010
Division I Writing Skills
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

In this class we will read or otherwise experience a range of poetry being produced right now in the U.S. Some of this poetry doesn’t immediately seem to “fit” in the classroom: it’s too new, too weird, too raw, too cerebral, too multi-media, too performance-oriented, somehow “unteachable.” The premise of the course is that by engaging with these diverse voices we will come up with ways of talking about them, and that in the process we will have to take up some big and interesting questions: What is poetry? Can it be defined? How does poetry aim to affect us? Does one need “expertise” to appreciate it? And: is poetry important? Does it matter–socially, politically, culturally? The course is aimed at lovers of poetry, those who dislike poetry, those who are intimidated by the idea of it, and those who can’t see why we should bother. Readings will be structured around the work of the poets coming to Williams to read, and may also include some “old poetry” (for purposes of comparison), critical articles, and manifestos; we will also watch documentaries or listen to CDs of more performance-oriented work (e.g., slam, spoken word).
The Class: Format: discussion/seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3594
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: regular participation; four short (from 2-3 to 5-6 pp) papers, of which you will be asked to revise two; one essay will be a research paper on a poet or poetic movement of your choice; occasional group projects and short postings for class discussion
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Attributes: CRAAS Critical Reasoning + Analytical Skills

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