Sample Poetry Syllabi

Sample Undergrad Introduction to Poetry Writing Class Syllabus:

University of Southern Mississippi

English 228: Introduction to Poetry Writing

M/W 1:00-2:20

 Instructor: Allen Berry         

Office Hours: TBA

Office Location: LAB 344

Email: john.a.berry@eagles.usm.edu           

Phone: N/A

 

REQUIRED MATERIALS

  • Agostino, Paul.  Created Writing: Poetry From New Angles. Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1996.
  • Collins, Billy. Poetry 180: a Turning Back to Poetry. New York: Random House, 2003.
  • Turco, Lewis.  The Book of Forms. Lebanon: University Press, 2000.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is an introduction to writing poetry.  During the course of the semester participants in the class will learn not only how to craft poetry, but also about common misconceptions about poetry.  The course will help to explode many of the misconceptions about poetry as well as introducing some basic forms.

1)      There are many misconceptions about poetry, among them that all poetry must rhyme and another that poetry is typically difficult to understand.  Neither of these are true, although a good bit of poetry can and does rhyme.  A substantial portion of the class will be dedicated to reading and understanding poetry.  Before a poet writes, the poet needs to be aware of the poetry that has been written.

2)      Poetic Language is everywhere.  The poets must learn to be observers of language as well as the world around them. A portion of the class will be dedicated to found verse and observation of the larger world.

3)      The final section will consist of taking the lessons that you have learned and working them into crafting original poems of your choice.  They may be free verse or form poetry.  These poems combined with early works will be collected in a final portfolio to be submitted as your final exam.

 STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

  • Be able to identify and craft poetic forms
  • Work in both rhymed and unrhymed verse, and recognize how to use rhyme properly
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of imagery in poetry
  • Understand and effectively use the poetic genres/forms we study in class

REQUIREMENTS

In order to receive achieve a passing grade in this course you must satisfactorily complete all of the following:

  • complete all major writing projects
  • complete the Final Portfolio Project, to be submitted at the end of the semester (in lieu of a final exam);
  • maintain a journal containing.  Writing is a muscle, and in order for it to be strong, it must be exercised.
  • complete all reading assignments and homework, actively participate in class discussions and workshops, and maintain regular classroom attendance.

  GRADES

Writing poetry is a complex processes that takes time to develop. Indeed, much of your final grade for this course will be determined by your Final Portfolio Project, which you will submit at the end of the semester. The following should serve only as a guide for how grading will be approached:

Collection One: Couplet­, Limerick, and Haiku (10 pts)

A short collection of 3 of your favorite form poems written for this course to be turned submitted in a folder to me.

Collection Two: Nature and Found (10 pts)

A collection of 3 to 5 poems crafted from found language.  These can be captured conversations, found words from signs, magazines, etc. or collage poems

Collection Three: Love Poetry  (15 pts)

A collection of 3 to five poems demonstrating on the subject of love.

. Collection Four: Free Verse (15 pts)

A collection of 5 to 7 poems of no particular form, demonstrating rhythm, imagery, and meter.

Course Journal (10 pts)

A collection of in-class and homework assignments that encourage you to reflect on writing. Individual entries will not be graded.

Class Participation (10 pts)

Your contributions to class-discussions; participation in peer review workshops; etc.

Final Portfolio Project (30 pts)

This will constitute a collection of 14 of your favorite revised poems from throughout the semester.

Tentative Weekly Schedule

 P180 = Poetry 180

CW= Created Writing

BF= Book of Forms

 

Week 1

Introductions

Review of Syllabus

Couplet, Limerick and Haiku introduction

BF= 160-61, 213-15, 230-31

Journal

Week 2

Introduction to

Writing Couplet and Haiku

Journal

 Week 3

Writing Limericks

Workshop Couplets and Haiku in class.

Week 4

Peer Workshop of Limerick, Couplet, and Haiku

Collection One DUE

Week 5

Introduce Nature Poetry

Read Li Po (handout)

P180, poem 83 “The Turtle”

Journal

Week 6

Rough Draft, Nature Poems

Workshop Nature Poems

Week 7

Collection Two Nature Poems

Introduce Love Poetry

P180= poem 168 “Gee You’re So Beautiful that it’s Starting to Rain” Richard Brautigan

P180= poem 140, “The Dead” by Susan Mitchell

Week 8

Rough draft Love poetry due

Workshop love poetry

Journal

Week 9

Introduce Captured language project

P 180= poem 145 “The Yawn” by Paul Blackburn

 Week 10

Found Language poetry draft due

Workshop Captured Language Poetry

Found language/captured language collection due

Week 11

Introduction to Free Verse poetry.

Readings in Free Verse poetry.

Week 12

Rough Draft of Free Verse Poetry Due

Workshop Drafts of Free Verse Poetry

Journal

Week 13

Free Verse Poetry due

Discussion of Portfolios.

Journal

Week 14

Peer Workshop

Revision Strategies Workshop

Introduce Final Portfolio Project

Week 15

Portfolio Workshop

Week 16

Portfolio Workshop

Presentation of Final Works/Reading

Course Wrap-Up

Exam Week

Final Portfolios DUE

 Sample Graduate Poetry Writing class Syllabus:

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                 University of Southern Mississippi

English 668: Introduction to Poetry Writing

T/TR 4:30-6:00

 Instructor: Allen Berry         

Office Hours: TBA

Office Location: LAB 344

Email: john.a.berry@eagles.usm.edu           

Phone: N/A

 

REQUIRED MATERIALS

 

  • Addonizio, Kim and Dorianne Laux.  A Poets Companion: a Guide to the Joys of Writing Poetry. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1997.
  • Fussell, Paul. Poetic Meter and Poetic Form.  New York: McGraw Hill, 1979.


RECOMMENDED MATERIALS

 ·         Turco, Lewis.  The Book of Forms. Lebanon: University Press, 2000.

 COURSE DESCRIPTION

 This course is designed for the intermediate level poet.  During the course of the semester participants in the class will craft poetry and hone their skills as well as experiment with voice and imagery.  Because the crafting of poetry is something of a collaborative effort as well as a solitary one, this course include a collaborative aspect, wherein students  will workshop their poems with their fellow students.

 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

 At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of voice and imagery in the crafting of poetry
  • Create new poetry that demonstrates an understanding of and proficiency with rhythm, meter, and imagery


REQUIREMENTS

 In order to receive a passing grade in this course you must satisfactorily complete all of the following:

 complete all major writing projects

·         complete the Final Portfolio Project, to be submitted at the end of the semester (in lieu of a final exam);

 COURSE POLICIES

 GRADES

 Writing poetry is a complex processes that takes time to develop. Indeed, much of your final grade for this course will be determined by your Final Portfolio Project, which you will submit at the end of the semester. The following should serve only as a guide for how grading will be approached:

  Bi-Weekly Poetry Submissions 50%

Every member of the class will be required to submit a new poetic work every other week.  These works will go to comprise the final portfolio for the class.

 Feedback on Poems, 10%

Each student will be partnered with a fellow student for whom he or she will provide feedback on a             particular poem.  A copy of the poet’s commentary will be provided to both the student and the instructor.

Class Participation 10%

Your contributions to class-discussions; participation in workshops; etc.

Final Portfolio Project 30 %

This will constitute a collection of 10 to 15 revised poems of your choice from throughout the semester.

 Tentative Weekly Schedule

 Week 1

Introductions

Review of Syllabus

Discussion of Voice

Assignment of Groups

Journal

Week 2

PC= “Family: The Inspiration and Obstacle”

Poems by Group 1

Feedback from partners

Journal

 Week 3

Poems by Group 2

Feedback from partners

Journal

Week 4

PC= “Death and Grief”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise

Week 5

Poems by Group 2

Exercise

Week 6

PC= “The Shadow”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise

Week 7

Poems by Group 2

Exercise

Week 8

PC= “Witnessing”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise s

Week 9

Poems by Group 2

Exercise

 Week 10

PC= “Witnessing”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise

Week 11

Poems by Group 2

Journal

Week 12

PC= “Poems of Place”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise

Week 13

Poems by Group 2

Exercise

Week 14

Poems by Group 1

PC= “Images”

Journal

Week 15

Poems by Group 2

Journal

Week 16

PC= Stop Making Sense: Dreams and Experiments

All Groups.

Journal

Exam Week

Final Portfolios DUE

 Tentative Weekly Schedule

 Week 1

Introductions

Review of Syllabus

Discussion of Voice

Assignment of Groups

Journal  

 Week 2

PC= “Family: The Inspiration and Obstacle”

Poems by Group 1

Feedback from partners

Journal

 Week 3

Poems by Group 2

Feedback from partners

Journal

 Week 4

PC= “Death and Grief”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise

Week 5

Poems by Group 2

Exercise

 Week 6

PC= “The Shadow”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise

 Week 7

Poems by Group 2

Exercise

 Week 8

PC= “Witnessing”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise s

 Week 9

Poems by Group 2

Exercise

 Week 10

PC= “Witnessing”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise

 Week 11

Poems by Group 2

Journal

 Week 12

PC= “Poems of Place”

Poems by Group 1

Exercise

 Week 13

Poems by Group 2

Exercise

  Week 14

Poems by Group 1

PC= “Images”

Journal

 Week 15

Poems by Group 2

Journal

 Week 16

PC= Stop Making Sense: Dreams and Experiments

All Groups.

Journal

 Exam Week

Final Portfolios DUE

 

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