English 43B

Introduction to the Writing of Verse

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2015 Stancek, Claire Marie
TTh 2-3:30 301 Wheeler

Book List

Adams, Stephen: Poetic Designs: An Introduction to Meters, Verse Forms, and Figures of Speech; Gregory, Jane: My Enemies; Hejinian, Lyn: My Life; Notley, Alice: The Descent of Alette; Philip, M. NourbeSe: Zong!

Other Readings and Media

A course reader including selections from Shakespeare, Milton, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Mary Robinson, Charlotte Smith, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron, R. Kelly.


By attending to the triangulation of politics, prosody, and history within poetry of the last four hundred years, we will build a rigorous foundation for our own poetic experiments. Together, we will ask: What practical skills does one need in order to speak in poetry’s enchanted chants? What historical background must one understand in order to engage in the subversive conversations of poetry now? This course attends to such fundamental prerequisites by combining an intense training in meter and rhythm, schemes and tropes, stanzaic forms and free verse, with a broad survey of poetry written in English, with ongoing workshops in which we will share and discuss our own writing—all the while, exploring the ways in which politics imbues our words and works. We will immerse ourselves in the rich Bay Area poetry scene by attending poetry readings, and by hosting our own end-of-the-semester poetry festival. Over the semester, students will write and revise a chapbook, due in three progressively longer stages.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 pages of your poems, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 4 P.M., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30.

Also be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for further infomration regarding enrollment in such courses.

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