August 15, 2014

obligatory syllabus post

KRAFT OF FOETRY, version fall 2014

Last year when we revised the craft curriculum, we designed a two semester craft sequence for first year students. The first semester is to be an introduction to the wide range of aesthetics and concerns that define the genre of poetry in the twentieth century so as to gift you with a fluency in the complicated ecosystem that is contemporary literature. With that in mind, this class will serve as an introduction to the genre. Out of this, we will discuss how literary forms are formed in response to and/or in dialogue with various socio-economic forces, how they atrophy and how we recognize this, and then how they mutate. This is, however, not a survey course. It will be more idiosyncratic than that. This course is required for all first year graduate students; students who are not entering the program can enroll in it on a space available basis.

August 27

September 3
One on one meetings. We will establish an individualized reading list of at least 5 books at this meeting.
September 10
 Homer, “Book 18: the Shield of Achilles,” the Iliad, translated by Robert Fagles and the Fagles introduction 
If Not Winter: Fragments of Sappho, translated by Anne Carson 
Page duBois, “Fragmentary Introduction,” Sappho is Burning

optional: Simone Weil, the Iliad or the Poem of Force, translated by Mary McCarthy

September 17
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Masque of Anarchy” and “A Defence of Poetry” 
Michael Demson, Masks of Anarchy: The Story of a Radical Poem, from Percy Shelley to the Triangle Factory Fire

September 24
Kristin Ross, The emergence of social space: [Rimbaud and the Paris Commune]
especially “Introduction” and “The Transformation of Social Space” 
Rimbaud, A Season in Hell 

October 1
Selections of work by John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, Randall Jarrell in the Norton Anthology of Poetry 
Angie Maxwell, “The Writer as Southerner,” Indicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of Whiteness 

October 8
Bertolt Brecht, “Writing the Truth: Five Difficulties” 
Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons 
Virginia Wolf, Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown

October 15
Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to My Native Land 
Aimé Césaire, “Poetry and Knowledge” 
Introduction to Refusal of the Shadow: Surrealism and the Caribbean, by Michael Richardson and Krzysztof Fijałkowski

October 22
William J Harris, introduction to The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader
Baraka, “BLACK DADA NIHILISMUS,” “Black Art,” “Short Speech to My Friends,” “Am/Track"
Fred Moten, “Tragedy, Elegy” and “The Dark Lady and the Sexual Cut,” In the Break: the Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition
Documents from the Black Arts Movement,

October 29
Susan Howe, My Emily Dickinson
Hejinian, My Life 

November 5
Chad Harbach, “MFA vs. NYC” 
Mark McGurl, “Introduction: Hall of Mirrors”  

November 12, 19, and December 3
One on one meetings. Portfolio due a week before your meeting. 

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