CW209 Mondays 1.00-3.00 p.m.
Aims and Objectives:
The module will introduce students to a range of traditional and experimental approaches to writing poems. In 2020-21 the module is taught through a series of online poetry workshops. The workshops encourage you to study and create poems, and to understand and adopt the techniques that suit, as well as challenge, your developing voice as a poet. There are workshops on different types of form as well as opportunities to experiment and break fresh ground. There is an emphasis on learning and teaching as an experience and event, group work and real world creative practice.
|By the end of this module the student will have:
1. Worked in several forms of poetry and created poems using a variety of media: page, spoken, conceptual, ekphrastic.
2. Received an introduction to the work of some contemporary poets writing in English, and how their work may be used as models for the student's own practice - through the use of weekly handouts.
3. Acquired some knowledge of the power and practice of imagination in poetic creation.
4. Worked in metred and unmetred verse, using a variety of rhyme strategies, and through working in various forms.
5. Appreciated the diversity of contemporary verse strategies, including prose poetry, and the role of performance.
6. Acquired a practical understanding of their own poetics, and that of other poets, with regard to poetry.
7. Acquired a realistic knowledge of the marketplace for poetry.
8. Improved their skills in writing and thinking about their poetry.
These outcomes reflect those in the QAA benchmarks for creative writing (February 2016).
|There will be one group taught online on Mondays. You are urged to use the office hours provided by Writing Programme tutors: this is important receive one-to-one feedback. You are recommended to attend free Warwick Thursday events.|
Structure of the module:
The module offers a mixture of writing workshops, readings and discussions of poems. The syllabus and reading for the module can be accessed at the Moodle: https://moodle.warwick.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=42066#section-12
There will be writing assignments every week which will be read and discussed the following week. All poems must be presented in Industry Standards formats.
Week 1: Free Verse
Week 2: Ghazal
Week 3: Song
Week 4: Sonnet
Week 5: Pantoum
Week 6: Writing Week
Week 7: Sestina
Week 8: Villanelle
Week 9: Terza Rima
Week 10: Golden Shovel
Week 11: Writing about Practice
Week 12: Translation
Week 13: Wordlessness
Week 14: Art
Week 15: Concept
Week 16: Writing Week
Week 17: Guerrilla
Week 18: Power Workshops
Week 19: Power Workshops
Week 20: The Poet and the World
Students will submit a portfolio of their own poetry (60% of final mark). It should be no fewer than 25 pages and no more than 30 pages. Each poem must be accompanied by a commentary which explains the aims and processes behind the writing of the poem. The word count for all the commentaries put together is 1,500 words long.
Students will also submit an assessed literary essay of 3,000 words on the practice of poetry. The essay will account for 30% of the final mark. A suggested list of sample topics and research questions is available to students on the module webpage below. However, students are encouraged to pursue their own enthusiasms and obsessions for a topic in consultation with your tutors. The essay will carry a full bibliography. Consider a literary essay to be like any other essay but written as a piece of creative writing: as literary nonfiction.
Students will also submit ONE of the following (10% of final mark): a recording of a spoken word performance by the student of no less than 10 minutes which can take the form of a vlog; a piece of poetry-derived conceptual art with a 300-word commentary on its aims and processes; or a review of no less than 600 words in total about three current poetry collections (current, as in published in the last two years). The review can also take the form of a vlog. If you are submitting a spoken word performance or vlog, paste the link to the recording on YouTube in a Microsoft Word document with a written description of no fewer than 40 words. Submit that document.
Industry Standard for Submitting Poems for Assessment
Send your poems in one file in Word only (PDF cannot be edited). Use 16 point font for titles: no underlining, CAPITALS or bold. Use 12 point font for poems. Use single space or 1.15 at most. Use a font that publishers will welcome e.g. Garamond or Palatino or Times New Roman.
Research Questions - these might be starting points, springboards for your ideas
Topic Questions - again, these are here to catalyze your own thinking
Topics that Open with Quotations on Poetic Process:
Students will also submit an assessed literary essay of 3,000 words on the practice of poetry. The essay will account for 30% of the final mark. A suggested list of sample topics and research questions is available to students on this web-page. However, students are encouraged to pursue their own enthusiasms and obsessions for a topic in consultation with your tutors. The essay will carry a full bibliography. Consider a literary essay to be like any other essay, but written as a piece of creative writing: as literary nonfiction.
Students will also submit ONE of the following (10% of final mark): a recording of a spoken word performance by the student of no less than 10 minutes which can take the form of a vlog; a piece of poetry-derived conceptual art with a 300-word commentary on its aims and processes; or a review of no less than 600 words in total about three current poetry collections (current, as in published in the last two years). The review can also take the form of a vlog. If you are submitting a spoken word performance, paste the link to the recording in a submitted Microsoft Word document with a written description of no fewer than 40 words. No material from your portfolio can be re-used in this performance. Material from one form of assessment cannot be used in another.
This submission will account for 10% of the final mark.
Course packs will contain poems that will be studied during class.
The best reading you can do is to read poetry, and to read contemporary poetry from around the world.
Always have the best dictionaries and thesaurus beside you as you write. You cannot work without them. I recommend you do not use the thesaurus from your Word programme as it is deeply limiting to the possibilities of language.
Books about the practice of poetry:
The most useful resource for rhyme is The Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes (OUP, 2006) whose organization relies more on indirect rhyme, sound’s side-tracks and echoes. Its lists of rhymed words not only blend traditional/ancient with modern/contemporary but also introduce place names, and technological and scientific terms.
The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics is the definitive, brick-wide handbook for working poets.
Spoken Work Resources
The Electronic Poetry Center is the place to begin. Materials formerly housed at the EPC have been moved over to, and greatly augmented at, PennSound: http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/
There are many websites for the spoken word, but for poetry The Academy of American Poets (www.poets.org) and The Poetry Archive carry online recordings, as well as essays by and about contemporary poets and links to other poetry sites.
The Poetry Library in London's Royal Festival Hall
The single best place in the UK for researching and writing your essay.
What is the Poetry Library?
Membership and Lending
|Workshops in term 1 are practical, immersive experiences, providing an apprenticeship in the craft and process of making poems. Workshops explore the craft and process of form, including alertness to rhyme, line, stanza; negative capability, duende, and attention to drafting; to making, reading, and speaking forms such as villanelle, riddle, song, ballad, ghazal, speech acts, terza rima, sestina, double-sestina, pantoum, found poems, Golden Shovel, short forms, non-verbal poetry and punctuation, shape poems, sonnet and crown of sonnets. A series of practical poetic exercises is set for the Christmas vacation.|
|Workshops in term 2 explore how poetry can work within the world and involve outdoor fieldwork and a visit to a gallery. We practice poetry alongside other art forms, concepts, knowledge systems including science, art, and languages. Topics include: poetry and memory, asemic poetry, blackout poetry, poetry and visual art, poetry and walking, poetry as conceptual art, poetry and translation, free verse, poetry and myth, spoken word, editing and reviewing, poetry awards, poetic vocation and careers.|