ENGL 483 A: Advanced Verse Workshop

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 2:50pm
Location: 
PAR 120
SLN: 
13870
Instructor:
Pimone Triplett
Pimone Triplett

Syllabus Description:

Engl 483. Course Description: This intensive verse workshop will focus on the production and discussion of student poems, with equal time devoted to the discussion and critical analysis of works by professional writers. We will read several book-length collections of poetry, with an emphasis on contemporary poets of color and on Asian American poets in particular.

Syllabus and assigned readings to be announced.

COURSE SCHEDULE AND POLICIES 

483, Advanced Creative Writing. Spring 2018.

Professor Pimone Triplett. Office: Padelford 416A

email: ptrip@uw.edu

T/Th. 1:30-2:50. Parrington 120

Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:10-4:10 by appointment. Please email to make an appointment.

REQUIRED MATERIALS. All are available from Open Books (www.openpoetrybooks.com. 2414 N 45th St., Seattle, WA 98103 (206) 633-0811). 

Texts:

--CATALOG OF UNABASHED GRATITUDE by Ross Gay.

--WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A LIST OF FURTHER POSSIBILITIES by Chen Chen.

--DOTHEAD by Amit Majmudar.

--BARBIE CHANG by Victoria Chang.

--CALLING A WOLF A WOLF by Kaveh Akbar.

--One additional purchase from Open Books. That is, one individual volume of poetry, to be selected by you from an approved list of authors that I will provide. A book analysis of each will be due at the end of the term. The point of this requirement is to encourage student engagement with whole books of poetry as an art form, so YOU MAY NOT SUBSTITUTE ANOTHER FORMAT (such as favorite poems written by your neighbor, etc.) However, you may substitute with a personal anthology. More on that later.

--Either bring PRINTED COPIES of your fellow students’ poems must be to class, including your own when you are up for workshop. This is preferable to looking on your phone or laptop because you can write further comments during class you need to and give the paper back to the student. Also, during a small group discussion, this policy prevents the more cut-off feeling that can surround anyone behind a screen.  

--An active UW email address. You cannot substitute a non-UW address for the UW one that was used for your class registration, as the group email (Engl483_spring 18) includes only your registration address.

 

 

 

 

 

GRADING:

Your grade will be determined from four sources: your poems (with special emphasis on drafting and your final manuscript), your written creative and critical responses, your book analyses, and your class participation.

  1. The Poems: 60% of your grade

 You will be asked to write several poems during the quarter. Although these poems will be modeled on the work of accomplished poets in the field, you are encouraged to make each assignment your own, with your own style and personal stamp. At the end of the quarter, further drafts are due for at least two out of your total number of poems. Each new draft/ revision should be based on techniques and craft issues covered in class. In addition, each final version should be accompanied by a one page reflection on how and why you arrived at the decisions and changes you made based on a keen consideration of feedback. Thus, this portion of your grade will assessed not according to a “subjective” sense of your talent, but largely according to the visible effort, work, and inspiration that you put into the revision process.  Note: no poems will be accepted that feature identifiable (or hinted at) persons from the class. Similarly, no poems featuring class discussion will be accepted. In addition, comments, written or offered in discussion, are given in good faith by members of the class, including myself, and are for use solely in the context of the class itself. 

  1. CRITICAL WORK: 40% of your grade

Components of Critical Work: Annotations (5%); Class Participation (10%); Book Analysis (25%) 

  1. a) ANNOTATIONS (5%): When assigned, each student should complete a written annotation for ONE poem from the author we will be discussing for the day. These should be uploaded to the discussion page on CANVAS ENGL 483 Spring 2018. These need only be a paragraph or so in length, but should discuss how ONE craft element in a poem functions. The rationale in asking for analysis of only one craft element at a time is to encourage depth of thinking and focus. Craft elements include such things as image, metaphor, fragment, diction range, tone, lineation, white space, turns, etc. In analysis, you want to not only observe these phenomena, but also briefly take a position, or make an argument, as to what the phenomena is doing in the poem, how it is functioning in relation to other aspects. While there are always implications within a piece, as well as subtleties, poems are not mysterious riddles to be solved in a guessing game with the reader, so please refrain from the temptation to impose external story, situation or additional objects and/or persons onto the poem. You should NOT be evaluating the poem subjectively here; evaluative remarks will cancel out the work and you will need to do it again. Rather than discussing whether you “like” or “don’t like” a particular poem, look more deeply for what craft techniques it employs and how the writer uses them. (Further, this approach saves the professor from the impossible expectation that every student will “like” every poem we come across.)  Since studying craft is what improves writing, theoretically you can employ the techniques even of someone whose work is distasteful to you, especially if you concentrate on craft rather than only content. As a result of this assignment, everyone should be able to use these written remarks as a starting point for class discussion. You are responsible for knowing ahead of time the annotations of your fellow students. You should come prepared to participate expertly in our discussion of that poem (though not necessarily to read from your page of written work). These assignments will be reviewed by me, but not returned to you; instead these will count toward the combined annotation and participation grade for every class period. However, you will receive a zero for the day you fail to complete this weekly requirement. If you have questions about how you are doing with these assignments overall, you should come to conference with me well before the quarter is over.

2.b) PARTICIPATION/ WORKSHOPPING OF STUDENT POEMS (5%). For some classes, you or your fellow students will have written a poem, or a draft of a poem, to which other students will have an opportunity for constructive response. You might address, for example, two or so craft elements that seem more fully realized in this current draft, and two or so more than could use further work. As with class discussion/ workshop, a tone of constructive suggestions, possible directions for future drafting, etc., will be expected. While serious revision/ redrafting/ more drafting are often required, disrespect will not be tolerated in any form. Don’t be too nice or too critical. Direct your comments to how we can help this writer improve the piece.

2.c. PARTICIPATION/ CLASS ENGAGEMENT/ 5% of your grade. A class that combines close reading and original writing in a workshop setting is successful when its participants openly and specifically share their thoughts about the work under consideration. Hence, a significant portion of your grade will be determined by the comments you offer in class. Students should be familiar with all the poems under discussion, both published and student-written. Obviously, students should have read carefully each of the poems by published authors, as close reading here is directly applicable to your creative responses. (I reserve the right to give pop quizzes if this seems to become a problem.) This portion of your grade includes not only speaking, but a sense of whether or not you are paying attention in class to the comments of others and consistently uploading your weekly annotations.

Overall, you are encouraged to respectfully challenge, disagree, and question the thoughts of others in relation to our materials at hand. A good rapport between us all is essential to foster a creative environment. Obviously however, this can’t happen in the presence of rudeness, disrespect, a poor attitude, or complaining, etc. (Please see the standard UW guidelines for student conduct on-line.) This is not a required course, so presumably you are here because you want to be. Let that fact show.  Open disrespect in any form will affect your participation grade.

Important: Please see the attached statement from the Department of English Chair regarding the English Department’s values and principles. 

Sub-category within Class engagement:  Late Work Policy

In a workshop format, lateness and persistent absence can seriously undermine the success of a given class, and is potentially disrespectful of a fellow student whose poem may be under discussion. Please come to class, and come on time.

All late work will be graded down .5 grade points per day late (with the exception of documented illness or other documented emergencies).

2.d) BOOK ANALYSIS: 25% of your grade—SEE HANDOUT ON THIS ASSIGNMENT. Book analysis will due at the end of the term.

You are required to write a 3-5 page analysis of one entire book of poems to be purchased from Open Books (www.openpoetrybooks.com. 2414 N 45th St., Seattle, WA 98103 (206) 633-0811.) I will distribute guidelines for this assignment, along with recommended possible authors. 

OR YOU MAY SUBSTITUE THE FOLLOWING ASSIGNMENT:

Another option to fulfill this portion of your grade is to complete the anthology assignment, in which you compile a personal poetry anthology according to the guidelines provided. You can choose poems from individual books, selected or collected poems of an author, and/or on-line finds. You’ll need to write a 3-5 page section for your anthology that introduces its rhyme and reason to potential readers, just as if you were pitching it to a potential publisher. What holds these poems together, what makes them important (to you, to others)?

Class Format: We’ll always be reading with an eye toward our own writing, and the process of each individual writer here discovering what works and making it their own. This is the ongoing dialogue between self and tradition, past and present, which all writers have been engaged in since writing began. One primary goal in developing your ability to analyze poems written by established writers is to eventually learn to apply these reading and analytical skills to your own creative work.  We will also discuss student poems, sometimes as a larger group and sometimes in conference, with a view toward useful, constructive and thoughtful criticism which aims at discovering each poem’s “best self.” Every opportunity that a student has to speak, in class or in conference, is a chance to further articulate his or her own aesthetics and critical thinking, and yet it is of vital importance that we honor and respect each poem’s particular vision and ambition. It’s also vital that you pay attention during class discussions in preparation for writing your prose accounts of your revisions and your close reading of one poem.                       

Office Hours, Tuesdays 3:10-4:10. I am available for conferences and drop-ins, but I am happy to meet with you by appointment. However, the end of class time is often not the best for questions, compared to office hours, as some of us are often in a hurry to get the our next appointment. I have found that conversations during this time often reflect the confusion of the room, and that misunderstandings can ensue.

In addition, if you have questions or concerns regarding your grade, come to see me during office hours before the term is over. Please don’t wait until the last minute to express your concerns, as no grades, obviously, can be changed once the term is over. 

Schedule (subject to change if need be)

Week 1,

Tuesday, 3/27: Intro, Power of Description and the Catalog Poem

Introduction to the catalog poem. Close reading led by professor of Ross Gay poem.  

How to do an annotation for this class

Review of syllabus

Homework:

Pick up required texts from Open Books (address above).

NOTE: ALL POEMS, WHETHER WRITTEN BY STUDENTS OR PUBLISHED AUTHORS, SHOULD BE READ BY YOU AT LEAST THREE TIMES BEFORE YOU MOVE ON TO THE NEXT ONE. As we know, poems can’t be read in the same way as newspaper articles (i.e., just once and for the information). They are more demanding and require closer reading. The 3 times (minimum) reading rule of thumb makes a huge difference in the comprehension and enjoyment of poetry. It will also help your reading be more readily internalized for your writing.  Very generally read the first time for content, the second for noticing what stands out in the piece, and the third time for structure and development (obviously, more than 3 times is even better).

Read selection of poems by Ross Gay provided by professor from CATALOG of UNABASHED GRATITUDE.

Read the rest of the book, CATALOG of UNABASHED GRATITUDE (or as much as you humanly can before Thursday).

Review syllabus and course materials. Bring any questions or concerns to class. Please sign to indicate that you have read it, keep a copy and return signed copy to me.

Thursday, 3/29: Catalog or List poems cont’d

Readings: Close readings of several poems in CATALOG OF UNABASHED GRATITUDE by Ross Gay.

Homework:

Continue reading the Ross Gay book if you have not finished (or read it again!)

Do one annotation concerning one craft element for one poem from among readings for next class. Upload your annotation to Canvas on or before Monday at 4pm.

Week 2: Identifying your Writing Self

Tuesday, 4/3 Prof Triplett away. Substitute Prof Andrew Feld.

Homework: Begin writing your Poem #1. OPTION A: Incorporate at least 3 craft issues identified in the Ross Gay poems into your own poem or OPTION B: Continue expanding and developing your Identity/ Writing Self poem or OPTION C: Combine options A and B in any way you see fit. Minimum length: 14 lines.

Thursday, 4/5

Prof Triplett away. Substitute Prof Andrew Feld.

Homework:

Continue work on Poem #1. Upload your “finished” piece onto Canvas on or before Sunday at 4pm.

Read all other student poems and come to class prepared to discuss them.

Week 3

Tuesday, 4/10 Workshop and Simic poems

Workshopping of HALF of our student poems, Poem #1

Introduction to Charles Simic’s work.

Homework:

Finish reading first half of Chen book, or the whole thing if possible.

Upload annotation on 1 Chen poem into Canvas on or before Wednesday at 4pm.

Read 10 Charles Simic poems that you find on line yourself. Poetry Foundation and Poets.org are good websites to start.

This year's annual Roethke Reading is the Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Charles Simic. The reading will be April 12, 7pm at Kane Hall (with free catered refreshments afterwards--all welcome). All students should attend. Please write a short paragraph on the differences you perceive between hearing a poem read aloud, and reading one on the page. Turn this in to me on Tuesday of next week.

Thursday, 4/12 Workshop (cont’d of POEM #1) and first half of Chen Book

Homework:

Go to Charles Simic poetry reading! This year's annual Roethke Reading is Charles Simic. The reading will be April 12, 7pm at Kane Hall (with free catered refreshments afterwards--all welcome). All students should attend. Please write a short paragraph on the differences you perceive between hearing a poem read aloud, and reading one on the page. Turn this paragraph in to me on Tuesday of next week.

Finish reading Chen book.

Begin your poem based on the prompt provided below. Due on or before Wednesday of next week at 4pm.  (We will not be workshopping these poems until Thursday however of next week; see below.)

Annotate one poem from among the readings for next class and upload on to Canvas on or before Monday at 4 PM.   You may annotate a Chen poem OR a Simic poem.         

Week 4: Chen Chen

Tuesday, 4/17

Readings: Continue discussion of Chen Chen book (the second half) in class.

Homework: “Complete” Poem #2, incorporating at least 3 craft issues identified in the Chen Chen poems (or the Simic poems) into your own poem. Minimum length: 14 lines. Upload onto Canvas on or before Wednesday at 4 pm.

Read all student poems and come to class prepared to comment.

Thursday, 4/19

Workshopping of Poem #2.

Discussion of second half of Chen Chen.

Homework:

Read Dothead, first half of book at least.

Annotate 1 poem from Dothead. Upload this annotation to Canvas on or before Monday at 4pm.

Week 5

Tuesday, 4/24

Workshopping of Poem #2 cont’d.

Discussion of Dothead, second half

 

Week 6

Tuesday, 5/1:

Discussion of Dothead cont'd. We will consider the book analysis guidelines and questions (see Canvas or your email attachments) with regard to the Amit Majmudar book as a whole, since this work will be useful in your thinking about your final book analysis project (25% of your grade).

Homework:

“Complete” Poem #3, incorporating at least 3 craft issues identified your annotation of one of the Majmudar poems into your own poem. You must indicate at the top of the page which 3 craft elements you are attempting (i.e., internal rhyming, assertive enjambment, wordplay, punning, alliteration, consonance and assonance, recursive image, extended metaphor, etc.) If you haven't yet done an annotation, you won't be able to complete this creative work until you do so. Minimum length: 14 lines. Upload onto Canvas on or before Sunday at 5 pm.

Read other student poems and come prepared to discuss what is so far most fully realized in the poem, and what aspects could use further development.

Plan to meet at OPEN Books this Thursday.

Thursday, 5/3:

Meet at Open Books 1:30-2:50 (we can allow about 20 minutes of lateness or needing to leave early to get back and forth from campus.) Plan on purchasing a volume of poetry for your book analysis work or researching toward selecting a volume of poetry.

Homework:

“Complete” Poem #3, incorporating at least 3 craft issues identified your annotation of one of the Majmudar poems into your own poem. You must indicate at the top of the page which 3 craft elements you are attempting (i.e., internal rhyming, assertive enjambment, wordplay, punning, alliteration, consonance and assonance, recursive image, extended metaphor, etc.) If you haven't yet done an annotation, you won't be able to complete this creative work until you do so. Minimum length: 14 lines. Upload onto Canvas on or before Sunday at 5 pm.

Read other student poems and come prepared to discuss what is so far most fully realized in the poem, and what aspects could use further development.

Read Barbie Chang by Victoria Chang.

Do an annotation of one poem from Chang’s book and upload it onto Canvas on or before Monday at 4pm.

Week 7:

Tuesday, 5/8:

Workshopping of Poem #3 (Majmudar inspired)

Discussion of Barbie Chang by Victoria Chang.

Homework:

Finish reading Barbie Chang if you have not already.

Thursday, 5/10:

Discussion of Barbie Chang, second half.

More workshopping of poem #3 if necessary.

Homework:

“Complete” Poem #4, incorporating at least 3 craft issues identified in the Chang poems into your own poem. Base these craft elements on your annotations (if you covered fewer than 3, which is ok, you'll need to think about 3 in total now.) Minimum length: 14 lines. Upload onto Canvas on or before Sunday at 4 pm.

Read all student poems and come prepared to discuss elements that are, so far, more fully realized and those that could use further development.

Week 8:

Tuesday, 5/15:

Workshopping of poem #4.

Homework:

Begin work on revising any previous poems. Make an appointment with Professor if you need to discuss further and/or come to next class with your revision questions.

Thursday, 5/17:

Workshopping of poem #4 cont’d. Plus T.B.A.

Homework:

Read Akbar book, at least the first half.

Complete an annotation of one poem from the Akbar book and upload on to Canvas on or before Monday at 4pm.

Week 9:

Tuesday, 5/22:

Discuss Akbar book, first half.

Homework:

Continue reading Akbar book. Finish if you haven’t already.

Thursday, 5/24:

Discuss Akbar book, second half.

Homework: “Complete” Poem #5, incorporating at least 3 craft issues identified in the Akbar poems into your own poem. Minimum length: 14 lines. Upload onto Canvas on or before Sunday at 4 pm.

Week 10:

Tuesday, 5/29:

Workshopping of Poem #5. Please bring your devices or laptops with you today so that we can devote a few minutes to completing evals. Thanks.

Thursday, 5/31:

Workshopping of Poem #5 cont’d.

Finals Week, Tentative. If for some reason other than my scheduled absence, I get sick or have a family emergency, we will have a make-up class during what would have been our final exam time. Friday, June 8, 2018, 230-420 pm, PAR 120 ONLY IF NECESSARY.

FINAL PORTFOLIOS DUE: Wednesday, JUNE 6 BY 5 PM. Please drop your materials off in the box outside my office, 416 A Padelford. Use a plain folder, nothing fancy.

Catalog Description: 
Intensive verse workshop. Emphasis on the production and discussion of student poetry. Prerequisite: ENGL 383; ENGL 384.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 10:10pm