Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Arabic Sufi Poetry (ARAB 40300)
The course will focus on the love poetry of three 7th/13th century Sufi poets: Ibn al-'Arabi, Ibn al-Farid, and Abulhasan al-Shushtari.
Instructor: Michael Sells. Day and Time: Tuesday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
Persian Poetry: Shahnameh of Ferdowsi (20320)
Abu al-Qâsem Ferdowsi of Tus (940 – 1019?) completed his verse rendition of the tragic history of the Iranian nation just over a millennium ago, in early March of 1010.
Conventionally classed as an “epic,” the Shahnameh’s various episodes include a variety of disparate genres and themes: creation narrative, mythology, heroic saga, folk tale, romance, royal chronicle. Through a close reading in Persian of several prominent episodes, and discussion this course aims to create a deep understanding of the language, the characters and the themes of the Shahnameh, analyzing the poem as an example of both national epic and world literature, reading with an eye toward literary structure; genre; Indo-Iranian mythology; political theory; ideals of masculinity, femininity and heroism; the interaction of text, oral tradition, illustration, scholarship, and translation in the shaping and transmission of the literary tradition; and, of course, the meaning(s) of the work. The aims of this course will be to gain familiarity with the style and language of Ferdowsi, to understand his rhetoric and esthetics, to understand the martial values animating the culture of the military and the zur-xâne, and to understand how individual episodes contribute to the broader overall meaning of the text. Alongside the selected episodes in Persian, we will read the entire Shahnameh in English translation and discuss some of the wider scholarly issues surrounding Ferdowsi’s text and the Shahnameh sources, transmission, illustration, and popular and scholarly reception. Class discussions will be in English
Instructor: Franklin Lewis. Days and Times: Monday, 3:00 to 5:50 PM
Romance Languages and Literatures
Poesia Novohispana con practica ecdotica (SPAN 22314)
The study of poetry written in New Spain, working with manuscripts as well as with "editiones principes."
Instructor: Martha Tenorio. Days and Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:00 to 5:50 PM
Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10300/30300)
This course addresses a range of techniques for writing poetry, making use of various compelling models drawn primarily from international modernisms on which to base our own writing. (Our textbook is Poems for the Millennium, edited by Rothenberg & Joris.) In this sense, the course will constitute an apprenticeship to modern poetry. We will consider the breadth of approaches currently available to poets, as well as the value of reading as a means of developing an understanding of how to write poetry. Each week students will bring poems for discussion, developing a portfolio of revised work by the quarter’s end. Additionally, students will keep detailed notebooks, as well as developing critical skills for understanding poetry in the form of two short essays.
Instructor: Peter O'Leary. Day and Time: Tuesday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
Honors Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10350/30350)
This course will explore different methods of crafting poetry, and the aesthetic and philosophical consequences of these approaches, and inquire into the balance between self-expression and the demands of communicative art. As a class, we will immerse ourselves in the fundamentals of poetry—sensory language, imagery, turn, epiphany, line breaks, musicality, form, structure, voice, and diction—and approach poetry from the perspective of practicing poets. Students will read voraciously in order to inform their own work and workshop their poems to learn the process of self-critique. Readings for the course will largely be drawn from 20th C. American poetry, including poetry by James Wright, Lorine Niedecker, Allen Ginsberg, Lucille Clifton, Russell Edson, Ai, and many others, giving students a sense of the particular socio-cultural context of being a poet in America today. This Honors Beginning course is open to all students but will give priority to those who are interested in declaring a Creative Writing Minor or a creative Honors Thesis. Unlike the normal Beginning courses, this class is not open bid and requires submission material and the consent of the instructor.
Instructor: Ariana Nash. Day and Time: Monday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
Intermediate Poetry Workshop : Poetry's Pathways(CRWR 13000/33000)
One way to think of a poem is as a series of linguistic routes, or pathways, from sound to sound, word to word, line to line, image to image. Of course, these routes don’t always move in a linear fashion: they often loop, overlap, interweave, crisscross, and create enchanting entanglements. Many disciplines, such as neuroscience and geography, practice “hodology,” or the study of pathways, to assess and understand similarly interconnected pathways. In comparative fashion, this poetry workshop will borrow hodological approaches to develop the practice of poetry writing. We focus on poems’ potential pathways in an effort to expand formal, thematic, and craft choices. While this class will emphasize workshop discussions of your poems and your experiments with craft, we’ll read widely, including work by Frank O’Hara, A. R. Ammons, T. S. Eliot, Alice Notley, Emily Dickinson, James Wright, Charles Baudelaire, Gilles Deleuze, and Harryette Mullen. Students will be expected to submit poems weekly and to write two short essays on craft.
Instructor: Nate Hoks. Day and Time: Thursday, 10:30 to 1:20 PM
Advanced Poetry Workshop: Writing the Poetic Everyday (CRWR 23100/43100)
This course takes inspiration from the poetry of Hannah Weiner, whose work Patrick Durgin calls “avant-garde journalism.” Weiner published a series of journals documenting her daily life and the words she saw as a result of her schizophrenia; the technology of the typewriter enabled her to document the different “voices” on the page. Following Weiner’s lead, we will explore various material modes of documenting the everyday – writing on index cards, by transcription, by typewriter, etc. We will look at other daily works by Ammons, Oppen, Mayer, etc. to expand our ideas of what writing the “everyday” looks like. Students will be expected to write and read as a daily practice, as well as to participate in exercises and critique during class.
Instructor: Stephanie Anderson. Day and Time: Wednesday, 1:30 to 4:20 PM
Verse Forms in Theater and Spoken Word Tradition (CRWR 27006/47006)
A writing workshop for poets and playwrights for the study and development of character-driven verse. Traditional verse for the stage (blank and rhymed, Elizabethan through 1900‘s) will be explored, as well as modern attempts (Eliot, Caryl Curchill, David Ives, etc.) Where does the often thin line lie between a sonnet and a soliloquy? Students will be challenged to channel their poetic voice not through the personal, confessional “I”, but through the mask, through character – as Shakespeare did with his sonnets, Blake with his Songs, and Dickenson, often, with her small ballads.
Instructor: Mickle Maher. Day and Time: Thursdays from 1:30 to 4:20pm