Page and Voice: Approaching Seattle's History and Present of Poetry
We have the good fortune to live in Seattle, a city with a rich poetic history and an exciting contemporary culture of writing. In this class, we will begin to engage with a number of poets, living and deceased, who have produced and/or are producing work within the city, framing our discussions with the current movement to have Seattle declared a UNESCO city of literature. Towards the goal of considering that framing and poetry's (various) place(s) within Seattle's cultural context, the class will be structured to include a series of short, open-to-the-public seminars, including whenever possible the poets whose works we are reading. Students will also be expected to attend and write about at least one poetry event outside of class during the quarter.
This class will, in the context of its goals, introduce a number of ways of reading and responding to poetry, as well as questions about the generic and canonical qualities thereof; the goal is not to reach definitive conclusions, but to learn and employ ways of considering the questions and the forms in which and about which they are asked.
This is not a class about poetry as a dead thing, a thing living in textbooks or in dusty pages. Rather, it is a class which contends that poetry can exist in more than one state: in voice, in page, in body, in culture. By the end of the quarter, we'll be dealing with all of these states, and many of the liminalities which render them problematic.
NOTE: ENGL 243 is a W class, which means students will, over the course of the quarter, do at least 15 pages of graded, out-of-class writing, including some opportunity for revision. This requirement will be satisfied through a series of essay assignments of varying lengths which will be due across the quarter.