English 410

ENGL 410
Advanced Poetry Writing

Catalog Entry

ENGL 410. Advanced Poetry Writing
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisites: ENGL 310.

For students wishing to develop potential in poetry writing.  May be taken twice for credit.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Students create poetry assignments at the rate of once per week. Emphasis is placed upon contemporary free verse, although some students may choose to work with tradition forms such as the sonnet, villanelle, sestina, etc. Students in this course are encouraged to write more developed and lengthy poetry. Students are encouraged to develop tone, a sense of voice, structural integrity, mood and control. Students are expected to write poetry that works on many levels of meaning.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

  • Students may be required to read standard texts on the writing of poetry; anthologies of contemporary poetry; single volumes by individual poets; writer’s market compilations.
  • Students may be required to keep a reading or writing log, which might involve reflections upon the poetry of professional poets, or student poets in the class, or varied drafts of their own work.
  • Students will turn in one poem per week and the class will proceed in workshop/seminar fashion, that is, students will read their poems to the group and the group will respond critically. The instructor will serve as mediator and director of the group process.
  • Students will at the end of the course turn in a chapbook of the revised versions of poetry they have written during the semester.

They may also be required at this time to turn in their reading/writing logs.


Goals and Objectives of Course

Students should develop a sense of what professional writing involves. They should, by the end, become more sophisticated readers and writers, should learn how to assess their own poetry and that of others. Students will develop a sense of the kind of poetry being written today, a sense of control, voice, structure and tone. They will understand the strategies for creating images, metaphors, symbols, ambiguity, levels of meaning in a text, and aesthetic integrity.


Assessment Measures

Students may be assessed on their individual contributions to group workshop sessions; their reading and/or writing logs; their publications and public readings, if any; their progress as poets during the course of the semester; their final chapbooks. Student awards for poetry will also be taken into account as well as publication in national journals.


Other Course Information

English 410 builds upon the foundation laid by English 310, with more emphasis upon voice, control, structural integrity, the sophisticated use of imagery, metaphor and symbol. Subject matter is unrestricted, but students should demonstrate a sense that poetry is not merely a primal expression of one’s anguish or joy but a precise craft through which expression can be aesthetically and appropriately controlled for more effective aesthetic purposes. The workshop editorial processes in this class, while limited to poetry, can easily apply to fiction, creative non-fiction, expository prose and technical writing. Those interested in teaching poetry at secondary levels may find this course useful and of interest.


Review and Approval