English 243B

Poetry Writing Workshop

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2018 Giscombe, Cecil S.
Thurs. 9:30-12:30 305 Wheeler


In this semester's 243B we'll be actively fielding questions around environmentally conscious/location-oriented writing.

Some beginnings:

From Jonathan Skinner's introduction to the Ecopoetics section of the new Cambridge anthology, American Literature in Transition, 2000-2010: "Ultimately, 'Ecopoetics' may be more productively approached as a discursive site, to which many different kinds of poetry can contribute, than as the precinct of a particular kind of 'eco' poetry."  And then he asks the important question—"How, then, does an individual's sense of the larger Earth enter into an endeavor made small in the face of overbearing world-ecological forces?"

And Camille Dungy, in her introduction to the Black Nature poetry anthology, wrote, "I have to remember what has been said: I am black and female; no place is for my pleasure... How do I write a poem about the land and my place in it without remembering, without shaping my words around, the history I belong to, the history that belongs to me?"

And Brian Teare, in "Poetry as Fieldwork," wrote, "One of the commitments I make to any site I walk through while writing is to learn as much as I can about it: its natural history, its flora and fauna, its geology, its hydrology, all the layers of empirical knowlege that get laid down by Western culture on top of the land."

Text:  Ecopoetics: Essays in the Field, edited by Angela Hume and Gillian Osborne.  University of Iowa Press, 2018.  It's an expensive book and I assign it hesitantly because of that.  The least expensive option is direct purchase form the University of Iowa Press website, which offers a 25% discount.

A course reader will include work by A. R. Ammons, GLoria Anzaldua, Basho, Ed Roberson, and others.

Field trips, class visitors, writing workshops, weekly prompts, journal work, public performance.

Only continuing 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, APRIL 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 enrolling in such courses.

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