Though poetry was an oral art form before it was anything else, its contemporary relationship to performance is varied and complex. What does it mean to write a poem that comes alive in the air? What happens to poems when they become embodied? And how have questions of race, class, gender, and sexuality historically shaped (and been shaped by) the work at the intersection of poetry and performance?
This course explores poetry writing for/as performance, including works that might be categorized as “spoken word poetry” as well as those that sit far outside of that designation. Course readings will span various schools and eras (including the Beats, the Black Arts Movement, sound poetry, Def Poetry Jam, and more) in addition to works that blur the genres of poetry, performance art, and theater. Students will critically analyze works of poetry, engage in writing and performance activities in class, and exchange feedback on each other’s work. This is a critical class with a significant creative component, which will culminate in a final performance open to the campus community. No previous coursework is required, though some experience with reading and writing poetry will be assumed.
- Examine works of poetry that come alive through performance and performances that bring poetry to life.
- Become familiar with the artistic roots of contemporary spoken word, including works of poetry, theater, and performance art from the 1950s to the present
- Critically analyze and closely read works of literature and performance
- Write, revise, memorize, workshop, and perform new poems in community with others.
Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
M/Th 3:40PM - 5:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years
Categories: 2000 , All courses , Drama , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature
Tags: American poetry , Beat Poetry , Black Arts Movement , Black Studies , drama , Dramatic Literature , performance , poetry , slam , spoken word , theater