Art of the Sonnet: Conventions and Inventions (LIT4113.01)

Michael Dumanis
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The sonnet, from the Italian sonnetto, or little song, has a long and rich history as a poetic form, described by contemporary poet Laynie Browne as ʺa controlled measure of sound and space within which one can do anything. An invitation.ʺ This course, a literature seminar with a significant creative component, will invite you to study the sonnet in‐ depth, both as a traditional form obsessively employed by William Shakespeare and the 14th‐century Italian poet Petrarch, and as an innovative, elastic lyric enjoying a surge in popularity among contemporary writers, some of whom have exploded the form in radical ways. The class will consider the work of such poets as Dante, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Wyatt, Keats, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Berryman, Ted Berrigan, Marilyn Nelson, Natasha Trethewey, Olena Kalytiak Davis, A. Van Jordan, D.A. Powell, Ben Lerner, Tyehimba Jess, Hannah Sanghee Park, and Sandra Simonds. Students will write two critical papers, take a midterm exam, and will additionally have a number of regular creative writing assignments and recitations involving the sonnet form.

Prerequisites: Students should email a portfolio of 4-6 poems or a critical writing sample, as well as a statement of interest, to mdumanis@bennington.edu by November 7, 2016. A list of admitted students will be posted on November 14, 2016.
Credits: 4
T 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 15
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Four Credit, Literature, Michael Dumanis, Tuesday and/or Friday Afternoons, and tagged , , , .