ENGL 483 A: Advanced Verse Workshop

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 2:50pm
SAV 132
Andrew Feld
Andrew Feld

Syllabus Description:

English 483A (Advanced Verse Workshop), Fall 2019
M W 1:30-2:50, Savery 132
Professor Feld          aefeld@uw.edu
Office Hours: M W 3:00-4:00, and by appointment
Office: PDL B-432,     616-5690,


This course will provide students with an intensive study of contemporary poetic practices, along with an analysis and discussion of the aesthetic, theoretical and ethical considerations which underlie these practices. There will be a focus on stylistic imitations from a range of sources, along with craft exercises and a study of the essential elements of poetic meaning-making including form, music, syntax, stanza, and argumentation. 

Course Handouts: Distributed by Professor

Prerequisites: ENGL 383, ENGL 384.  Majors following the Creative Writing Track who have not taken both prerequisites should contact an English advisor (A-2B Padelford).

GRADE: Students will write 4 poems during the quarter, for 15 points each, for 60% of your grade.  A packet of all four poems, edited and revised, and including one substantial revision, will account for 20% of the final grade.  The remaining 20% will be based on class participation.

Your final grade will be based on the grades assigned to the poems and the packet, which will receive a grade, and on your active engagement with, and participation in, the class, the work, and the subject. 

Please Note:“Class Participation” means showing up on time, with the poems up for that day’s discussion prepared with your comments, and poems from the handouts read thoroughly.  More than three absences in the course of a quarter will seriously affect your class participation. Laptops are not permitted in class. 

When an assignment is due email your poem to me, as an attachment, at aefeld@uw.edu, with the title of the assignment in the subject line.  I will print out the poems and distribute them in class. Poems are due by Noon on the Sunday before the week in which they will be discussed in workshop.  Late poems will be marked down 5% per day late.  Each 24 Hour period starts at 2pm.

Grading Policy:

3.0:  a dogged student who does everything asked, fulfilling the letter of the law, but in a desultory, uninspired or palpably perfunctory way.

3.3—a student who does everything energetically, speaks up in class, etc., but whose writing  does not show progress over the course of the quarter and/or does not fully engage with the subject and assignments.

3.5—a good student who does everything pretty well.

3.6-4.0—gradations of work from better to excellent.


Discussion of student poems will be guided and shaped by essays and handouts distributed in the week before the poems are to be workshopped.  These prose works will provide the criteria, methods and terminology we will use to read and critique your poems.  In addition, each poem will have a student presenter, who will start the class discussion with a short analysis of the ways in which the poem up for discussion works and does not work according to the methodology of the handout.  These presentations will be graded and will count towards your class participation.

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy (https://registrar.washington.edu/staffandfaculty/religious-accommodations-policy/). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (https://registrar.washington.edu/students/religious-accommodations-request/).

SafeCampusis the central reporting office if you are concerned for yourself or a friend. We have trained specialists who will take your call, connect you with resources, and put safety measures in place to reduce the chances of violence occurring. We are available 24/7.  Call 206 685-7233, email safecampus@uw.edu.  uw.edu/safecampus.  In urgent situations call 911.



Poems turned into the workshop must never include or address any of your fellow workshop participants (including the professor), or comment on the nature of the assignment.  As in all task-oriented communities, workshop members must respect the privacy of their fellow participants and the seriousness of the work at hand.  ANY POEM THAT VIOLATES THIS RULE WILL RECEIVE A GRADE OF ZERO FOR THE ASSIGNMENT.

Any student found to have plagiarized any piece of writing in this class will be immediately reported to the College of Arts and Sciences for review.


FIRST WEEK: September 25

Tuesday: Syllabus, Class Introduction, Workshopping Protocols, Formatting, Grading. 


Poem #1,


SECOND WEEK: September 30-October 2

Monday: Workshop.  “The Lyric Persona” (handout). 

Wednesday: Workshop.  “The Lyric Persona” continued.


THIRD WEEK: October 7-9

Monday: Workshop, “Lyric Persona” continued. 

Wednesday:No Class

Poem #2, “Lyric Persona,” Due Sunday 4/21, Noon.


FOURTH WEEK: October 14-16

Monday: Workshop.

Wednesday:“The Lyric Moment,” lecture & in-class-exercise.


FIFTH WEEK: October 21-23


Wednesday: Workshop.         

Poem #3, “Dramatic Monologue” Due, Sunday May 5, Noon.


SIXTH WEEK: October 28-30

Monday: Workshop.

Wednesday: Workshop.  “The Invention of a Self” lecture.

Over weekend: Read “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot (on-line at http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html) . 


SEVENTH WEEK: November 4-6

Monday: Workshop, “Prufrock” discussion.

Wednesday: Workshop.  “Invented Self” poems.

Poem #4, “The Invention of a Self” Due, Sunday, May 19, Noon.


EIGHTH WEEK: November 11-13

Monday: No Class: Veterans Day

Wednesday: Workshop.   


NINTH WEEK: November 18-19

Monday: Workshop.

Wednesday: Workshop

Revisions Due: Sunday, June 2, Noon.


TENTH WEEK: November 25-27

Monday: Workshop

Wednesday: Workshop


ELEVENTH WEEK: December 2-4




FINAL: Monday, December 9, 2:30-4:20: If Necessary. 


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)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 11:00pm