American Poetry--Workshop. Professor Susan Howe. Spring Semester. 1995. English 339. Wednesday 2pm-5:00pm. Clemens 19.
Although this class will be primarily a writing workshop, we will carefully read books by some individual contemporary poets and fiction writers. These writers will be coming to campus as part of the Wednesday at 4 Plus Series. We will attend these readings as part of the class. The following authors in the series will visit our workshops and we will discuss one book by each of them in advance of their visit to UB. You can buy the books at Talking Leaves Bookstore. Zombie Notes . Maureen Owen Necromance . Rae Armantrout Rondeaux . Laura Moriarty Break it Down . Lydia Davis. You are also required to read: Region of Unlikeness . Jorie Graham. The Invention of Solitude by Paul Auster The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje Requirements: A weekly response paper and a final chapbook of poems or prose poems produced from work written during the semester. The chapbook can consist of a collection of poems, a prose poem, a short story, or an essay. Regular attendance at the workshop and at the readings is mandatory. Your grade will be lowered by half a point for each workshop you miss. We will go over to the readings at the Screening Room at 4 pm each Wednesday. That is also required. You must write a response paper for these events so if you dont go there is a BIG problem. There is a range of readers, poets, novelists, critics, and films. You will be expected to xerox a copy of the poems you are going to read for each member of the class and distribute them on the day you read or better still the week before. If you havent made copies for each of us there is no point in your reading. Students will take their copies of your work home and comment on them then return the marked copies to you the following week. I would like to see a poem a week from each of you .
SCHEDULE: January 18. First class. We will make up reading schedule and discuss purpose of the seminar. I will hand out some reading material. Assignment. Read the poems I hand out by Jorie Graham and buy her book at Talking Leaves. Each person write a poem and bring it in to read. ***** Jan 25. During the first workshop you will read the poem you wrote for this class. Make one copy for each member of the workshop and for me. If there is no copy for the rest of us there is no point in reading it. We will also discuss the Graham poems. Reading: in the Screening Room of the Arts Building. Jorie Graham. Assignment. Weekly response to Graham's work and a poem of your own. Just one copy for me unless you are a reader the upcoming week. ***** February 1. Readers. 1.__________________________ 2.__________________________ 3.__________________________ At 4 pm, instead of a poetry reading, the Poetics Program is showing three films by a French film- maker-- Chris Marker. These films could be considered poems. We will discuss Marker's work before we go. This will go on beyond 5pm but the first two films are short. You must see those ones at least. Assignment. Write a response about one of Marker's films. Read the work of Maureen Owen-- Zombie Notes. in preparation for her visit on the 8th. ***** February 8. Charles Bernstein's class will join ours this week. Maureen will answer questions about her work as a poet, small press publisher, and the editor of a magazine called Telephone which was very important during the late 60s and 70s in NYC. Assignment. Write a response to the previous class and or the readings. Read Rae Armantrout's Necromance. ***** February 15. Readers. 4._________________________ 5._________________________ 6._________________________ Rae Armantrout will visit the class, readers will read for her also. She will answer questions about her work, her teaching etc. with Douglas Messerli. Reading 4pm. Rae Armantrout and Douglas Messerli. publisher of Sun and Moon Books. Assignment. Write a response to the reading and class visit. I will assign some reading for the next visitors. ***** February 22. Readers. 7.________________________ 8._________________________ 9._________________________ 10._________________________ Readers 4pm Fanny Howe and Norbese Philip. Assignment. Write a written response to the reading. Read Laura Moriarty's Rondeaux and each of you have a question to ask her. **** March 1. Readers. 11._____________________________ 12._____________________________ 13._____________________________ Laura Moriarty will visit the class. She will discuss her writing and her work as an editor of the Poetry Video Archives at San Francisco State. Then we will go to her reading. Reading. 4pm. Laura Moriarty and Charles Alexander poet and publisher of Chax Press. Assignment. Written response. **** March 8. Readers. 14.__________________________________ 15.__________________________________ 16.___________________________________ 17.___________________________________ Two English poets will be reading at 4:00. Assignment. Over the break read Watt by Samuel Beckett. **** BREAK--March 15. **** March 22. I am away. You will go to Charles Bernstein's class in Clemens 438. He will be discussing Watt in preparation for Marjorie Perloff's visit in a couple of weeks. Assignment: Write response to Watt. I expect three poems from each of you when I return. **** March 29. Readers. 18.______________________________ 19.______________________________ 20._______________________________ 21._______________________________ Reading. Christen Prigent 4pm. Assigment: Written response to the Pringet reading. **** April 5. Readers. 22.____________________________________ 23.___________________________________ 24.____________________________________ 25._____________________________________ Marjorie Perloff lecture at 4pm. She is lecturing on Watt and Beckett's work during WWII. Assignment: Write your response to the Perloff lecture and read Lydia Davis' Break It Down. Come in with questions for her. Lydia Davis writes short stories and has just completed a novel. She is a brilliant translator of French poetry and prose. **** April 12. Readers. 26.________________________________ 27.________________________________ 28.________________________________ Lydia Davis will visit the class and discuss her work. She will read from her work at 4pm. Reading 4pm. Lydia Davis. Assignment: Written response and read Michael Ondaatje's novel The English Patient. **** April 19. We will discuss The English Patient. Readers. 29.___________________________ 30.___________________________ 31.____________________________ Reading 4pm. Michael Ondaatje. Assignment: Written response (report) on Ondaatje's book and Read Paul Auster's novel The Invention of Solitude. **** April 26. Last class. Chapbooks due. Readers 32.____________________________ 33.______________________________ 34._____________________________ 35.______________________________ Reading 4pm. Paul Auster.