Genres and Forms of Poetry (LIT4164.01)

Michael Dumanis

This course will closely examine various modes in which poetry is commonly written, including the elegy, the ode, the ekphrastic, the prose poem, the pastoral, the aubade, and the litany. Students will also be introduced to the vocabulary and practice of traditional prosody, acquire a familiarity with writing in meter and using rhyme, and attempt traditional forms such as the sonnet, the villanelle, the sestina, the pantoum, the ghazal, and the abecedarian. Particular attention will be paid to the evolution of traditional forms and the myriad ways contemporary poets approach form and prosody. Poets whose work will be discussed will likely include Agha Shahid Ali, Rick Barot, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Jericho Brown, Terrance Hayes, Randall Mann, Maggie Millner, and Mark Strand. Each week, students will read a packet of poems (or volume of poetry) in a given genre, and will attempt a poem in the genre or form being discussed. At the end of the term, students will submit a final portfolio of poems with a critical introductory essay.

Learning Outcomes:
1) Become familiar both as readers and writers with a wide range of poetic forms and modes and poetry across historical periods by writers of diverse backgrounds, while expanding a critical vocabulary to discuss poetry and prosody
2) Think critically about form, structure, diction, syntax, rhythm, rhyme, and decision-making in poetry
3) Experiment writing poems that employ rhyme and meter
3) Write and revise poems with a focus on form, shape, pattern, repetition, texture, music, and sound
4) Strengthen our capacities for peer critique and for offering and receiving supportive, constructive criticism of creative work
5) Contextualize our work within a particular tradition as we think and write critically about that context

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students must submit four poems, as well as a paragraph explaining their interest in the course this form, by May 9, 2024. Students will be notified of acceptance into the class on May 14, 2024.
Corequisites: Students are required to attend all Literature Evenings and Poetry at Bennington events this term, commonly held at 7pm on most Wednesday evenings.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 10:00AM - 11:50AM & W 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature
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