English 43B

Introduction to the Writing of Verse

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2018 Gaston, Lise
MW 9-10:30 301 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Course reader, with poetry and critical pieces by writers such as Agha Shahid Ali, Jordan Abel, Juan Delgado, Carolyn Forché, Juan Felipe Herrera, Liz Howard, Don McKay, Hoa Nguyen, Morgan Parker, Steven Price, Claudia Rankine, Warsan Shire, Fred Wah, Simone White, and Jan Zwicky.


This is a collaborative workshop where participants will learn to think critically and supportively about others’ creative work and their own, fostering an ongoing practice of editing and revision throughout the semester. Students will develop their own topics and styles, as well as experiment with a variety of prompts, metrical forms, and poetic techniques. Together, we will read a selection of works by contemporary poets, and consider the role of poetry—in protest and pleasure, communion and escape—in today’s historical, cultural, and ecological moment.

Participants will submit one poem a week for feedback, offer written and oral critiques of each other’s work, complete short assigned readings on contemporary poetry and poetics, attend a poetry reading, and give one in-class presentation on a poetry book of their choice. At the end of the semester participants will submit a poetry portfolio, consisting of pieces revised over the course of the semester. This is a small, participatory class, so consistent attendance is necessary.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5 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 11 PM, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26. 

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 information regarding enrollment in such courses.

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