Semester Schedule:
Please note - The schedule that follows is a tentative outline. Our schedule will be revised weekly to address our needs and interests as a class. An updated schedule will be posted every week on our course website and distributed in class in weekly. There may also be some variation in assignments—please check the schedule regularly, and please be in touch if you are not in class.

On poetry: Jan. 24, 31

Larry Rivers and Frank O’Hara – “How to Proceed in the Arts”

John O’Donohue – “Elemental”
Saul Williams – “Coded Language” (performance 1, performance 2, performance 3)
David Lerner – “Mein Kampf”
Dana Levin – “My Sentence”
Catherine Wagner – “Spell”
Lewis Carrol – “Jabberwocky”
Marianne Buroch – “Pencil”
Jin Eun-Young – “Long Finger Poem”

Jan Švankmajer - "Jabberwocky"
Saul Williams - Slam clip 1, Slam clip 2
Mos Def and Talib Kweli - Black Star (to stream album)

Assignments: Jabberwocky Translation (read 2/7, submit revised 2/15) and
(submit in class 2/7)

An economy of words: Feb. 7, 14th

Jane Hirshfield – “Sentencings” [printed with commentary]
Mike Golden – “Write a fucking poem”
Paul Muldoon – “The Breather”
John O’Donohue – “Fluent”
Langston Hughes – “Little Lyric (of Great Importance),” “Evil,” “Aspiration”
Sherman Alexie – “Birth Song,” “Aware, Unaware” and “Family Farm, Defaulted”

Additional texts:
selections from the Tao Te Ching
Anna Kamienska – “In That Great River: A Notebook.”

Assignment: 5 Statements of Value

Observations: Feb. 21, and Feb. 28

Pablo Neruda – “Ode to the Onion,” “Ode to Clothes,” “Ode to Laziness”
Wisława Szymborska – “Microcosmos”
Bob Kauffman – “Bagel Shop Jazz,” from “Jail Poems”
Vijay Seshadri – “Three Persons”
Mira Rosenthal – “Layover at the Airport in Detroit”
Reg E. Gaines – “welcome to mcdonalds (may i take your order please?)”

Assignments: An Observation Poem, A Dialog Poem, Revision of “5 Statements…”

Mar. 4-8 – No Class Meeting

Writing Biographies: Mar. 11-15, and Mar. 18-22

Raymond Carver – “My Father’s Life” (with “Photograph of my Father…”)

Sarah C. Harwell – “Dead”
Langston Hughes – “Aunt Sue’s Stories,” “The Weary Blues”
Seamus Heaney – “Follower”
Bob Hicok – Unmediated Experience”
Mohja Kahf – “My Grandmother Washes Her Feet…”
Patricia Smith – “Skinhead”

Assignments: Prose Biography and Translation, Revision of Observation poem,

“Autobiographies”: Mar. 25-29, Apr. 1-5, and Apr. 8-12

Various – “One Whole Voice”

Sylvia Plath – “I am Vertical”
Walt Whitman – “I Sing the Body Electric”
Harold Norse – “I’m Not a Man”
Nikki Giovanni – “Ego Tripping” and “Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day”
Natasha Trethewey – “Miscegenation”
Larry Neal – “The Summer after Malcolm”
Leigh Stein – “Marooned”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti – “Autobiography”

Assignments: Revision of Biographical poem, and an autobiographical poem.

The State of the Union: Apr. 15-19 and Apr. 22-26

David Biespiel - “This Land is our Land”

Langston Hughes – “I, Too”
d.a. levy – “the suburban prophets”
Ginsberg – “America”
Jack Hirschman – “Home (to the National Union of the Homeless)”
Elizabeth Alexander – “Praise Song for the Day”

Assignments: An America or a Richmond poem, revision of one autobiographical poem, portfolio introductory essay.