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ENGL 288
Writing as Experiment: An Introductory Poetry Lab Spring 2020
Division I

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Some writing gets categorized as “experimental” or “avant-garde.” But a spirit of experimentation—of rigorous, playful curiosity—is crucial for writers of all levels and styles to cultivate. In this introductory poetry course, we will engage in games and exercises designed to help us explore the wide set of tools available to poets, as well as to consider the idiosyncrasies of our own voices. We will read poets like Douglas Kearney, Fatimah Asghar, and Bhanu Kapil and discuss the ways race, gender, and power affect interpretations of the risks such poets take in their work. We’ll ask: What are the boundaries of what is considered to be poetry, and what possibilities for writing might we discover by pushing against those boundaries? How might a poem live, not just on the page, but also on a sidewalk, on a screen, in performance? This is a course that approaches writing as a laboratory to test out ideas and asks students to think critically about their own creative processes. Students will be expected to create new writing, submit reflection papers, give feedback on each others’ poems, and revise work as part of a final portfolio.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 4036
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, completion of writing exercises, feedback/reflection papers, and a final portfolio with revisions
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: if course becomes over-enrolled, enrollment will be determined by application
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ENGL Creative Writing Courses

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