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Course Details

Fall 2016-2017
CWR 316 / AAS 336 / AMS 396 / LAO 316 (LA)   P/D/F Only

Special Topics in Poetry: Race, Identity and Innovation

Monica Y. Youn


This workshop explores the link between racial identity and poetic innovation in work by contemporary poets of color. Experimental or avant-garde poetry in the American literary tradition has often defined itself as "impersonal," "against expression" or "post-identity." Unfortunately, this mindset has tended to exclude or downplay poems that engage issues of racial identity. This course explores works where poets of color have treated racial identity as a means to destabilize literary ideals of beauty, mastery and the autonomy of the text while at the same time engaging in poetic practices that subvert conceptions of identity or authenticity.

Sample reading list:
Harryette Mullen, Sleeping with the Dictionary
John Yau, Further Adventures in Monochrome
Tyehimba Jess, Olio
Monica de la Torre, Public Domain
Bhanu Kapil, The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers
Evie Shockley, The New Black

Reading/Writing assignments:
Each week, students will read one assigned book of contemporary poetry. Each student will be expected to submit one poem for workshop on a weekly basis, prompted by the prior week's reading. Each student will give at least one 20-30 minute presentation on one of the assigned books of poems. Each student will also submit one 3-4 page craft analysis of a single poem from the assigned reading. Students will revise and submit a portfolio of 5 poems as their final project.

Papers - 15%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%
Other (See Instructor) - 50%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to Graduate Students.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Admission to the course is by application only. Application deadline is April 17, 2016:

Other information:
Grading: Other 50% = Workshop Poems

Reserved Seats:
First Year Ugrd Only 2


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23536 C01 01:30:00 pm - 03:50:00 pm W   New South Building   605   Enrolled:4 Limit:10