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English 273 Syllabus

English 273
Fall, 2009
Professor Susan M. Schultz
214 Kuykendall
schultz@hawaii.rr.com; sschultz@hawaii.edu
Office hours: M, F: 11-12 and by appointment

Creative Writing & Literature

(MWF 12:30-1:20, Kuy 409)

This course introduces you to the art of reading & writing poetry.  We will be very active in class, doing exercises, talking about poems, making them, and enjoying the process.  We will think about observation, memory, sound, documents, local languages (Pidgin and Hawaiian), history, music, geography and space.  In addition, we will think about ways in which content and form complement one another.  The skills you develop in this course will help you in courses on (for example) fiction, non-fiction, and drama, as well. 

Required texts (available at Revolution Books, King Street): with order in which we'll use them in parentheses:

--Joe Brainard, I Remember, Granary Books. (2)
--Kamau Brathwaite, Middle Passages, New Directions. (5)
--Sam Hamill, trans.  The Sounds of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets, Shambhala. (1)
--Ron Padgett, Handbook of Poetic Forms, Teachers & Writers.  (1)
--Craig Santos Perez, from Unincorporated Territory, Tinfish Press (6)
--Susan M. Schultz, ed.  Tinfish 18.5: The Book, Tinfish Press. (4)
--Eleni Sikelianos, The Book of Jon.  City Lights. (3)

Course Requirements:

--You are responsible for knowing what is on the syllabus, which is also available here:
Bookmark it!!

--Attendance: you may only miss three classes without a compelling excuse (illness, with a doctor's note).  Tardies will be marked, too: ¼ absence for coming in late, a full absence for coming in the last 10 minutes or so, and other fractions in-between at my discretion.

--Participation: participation is a large part of your grade, so speak up and contribute to the group exercises in and out of class. 

--You must do all the work to pass the course.  I do not put letter grades on poems, but write comments that should indicate whether your work is excellent, adequate, or problematic.  If you fulfill all the requirements, work hard, and if your work improves, you will do well in this class.  If you do not, you will not.  I will give you the chance to revise poems and essays, but the first versions must be complete.  I put letter grades on essays.

--At least one conference with the instructor early in the semester.  Feel free to come more often.  I can often help more in person than I can on paper or via email, so bring your questions to me in my office hours or by appointment. 

--At least one public reading or performance (poetry reading, Kumu Kahua play, or equivalent).  You need to write a blog entry on the event you attend in place of the regular blog for that week.  You may go to up to two more events for extra credit (with extra blogging).  First suggested event: Kumu Kahua's presentation of Fat Ulu's Statehood Project.  See here for details: http://www.kumukahua.org/0910statehood.html

--Poems as assigned, two short essays, and 250-500 word post each week to the class blog.  Essays and blog entries must be analytical.  How does the poem work?  Do research on references in the poem, on the words used that you don't know or find interesting.  Find out something about the author.  GOOGLE it.  Go to the library!

--Our blog's address is: http://schultz273.blogspot.com/
Only class members and invited writers (like Eleni Sikelianos) will be able to read the blog on-line.  Other writers who will join us include Tiare Picard, Craig Santos Perez, Kai Gaspar, and Jill Yamasawa.
Blogger will invite you, then write to this URL.  Check out other blogs.  My blog is at http://tinfisheditor.blogspot.com
Also check out blogs by Ron Silliman (ronsilliman.blogspot.com), Craig Santos Perez:( http://blindelephant.blogspot.com/)
Philip Metres: (http://behindthelinespoetry.blogspot.com/)  Barbara Jane Reyes:( http://bjanepr.wordpress.com/)
These blogs can provide models to you for writing your own posts.

--Class and blog etiquette: Differences of opinion are encouraged, but personal attacks and trolling will not be condoned.  You must post in timely fashion, once a week (you can choose the day), but not days after we've completed that week's reading. 

--Final chapbook that includes your poems for the course.  Approximately 10-15 pages.

--No cell phones, no texting, no facebooking, no lap tops open except when we do on-line work.  Ipod buds out!  All electronics are frowned upon!

--I like to be friended on Facebook--once the semester is over.

--No plagiarism.  See the student handbook.  We'll talk about some of the subtleties of borrowing and stealing in poetry.

--I am happy to work with KOKUA, if you have any special needs.  See

--The syllabus is subject to change; I'll let you know when.

Grading policy

--15% blog entries
--15% participation
--20% essays
--15% poems
--20% final project
--15% final exam


Monday, August 24: Introductions, expectations, a question.
Wednesday, August 26: writing exercises, calisthenics
Friday, August 28: Read “haiku” (and "renga, senryu, tanka") in Padgett, read Hamill (Basho).

Monday, August 31: Hamill. (Buson)  Go to the Krauss Hall pond or to the Japanese Garden behind the East West Center this week and sit for a while.  On another day, go sit at a bus stop for 20-30 minutes.  Watch, take notes.
Wednesday, September 2: Hamill (Issa, others)  Five haiku due.
Friday, September 4:  Read Brainard, "List Poem" in Padgett.

Monday, September 7: Labor Day.  No class.
Wednesday, September 9: Finish Brainard.  Write ten "I remembers."
Friday, September 11: Sikelianos. Read "Elegy," "Prose Poem," "Found Poem," in Padgett.

Monday, September 14: Sikelianos.   
Wednesday, September 16: Sikelianos.
Friday, September 18: Family documentary piece due.

Monday, September 21: Tinfish 18.5: Gaspar.  Read "Free Verse" in Padgett.
Wednesday, September 23: Tinfish 18.5: Gaspar,
Friday, September 25: Tinfish 18.5: Oishi. Read "Event Poem" in Padgett.  3-5 page essay due.  TBA

Monday, September 28: Tinfish: Oishi
Wednesday, September 30: Tinfish: Takehiro.  Read "Insult Poem," "Lyric," "Performance Poem"  in Padgett.
Friday, October 2: Tinfish: Takehiro; Yamasawa. Read "Walk Poem" in Padgett.  Write a poem in one of these forms (free verse, insult, lyric, performance)

Monday, October 5: Tinfish: Yamasawa
Wednesday, October 7: Tinfish: Picard.  Read "Pantoum" and "Alphabet Poem"; google "Flarf"
Friday, October 9: Tinfish:Picard: Poem due on a) your high school, b) a historical incident, c) a shape (e.g., box).

Monday, October 12: Sound poetry (on-line) Read "alliteration" and "assonance" in Padgett.
Wednesday, October 14: Sound poetry: Read "nonsense" in Padgett.  Prof. Schultz off-island.  Sub.
Friday, October 16: Sound poetry: Sound poem due.  Prof. Schultz off-island.  Sub.

Monday, October 19: Brathwaite. Read "Rhythm" and "Rhyme" and "Word Play" in Padgett.
Wednesday, October 21: Brathwaite. Read "Metaphor," "Allegory" and "Chant" in Padgett.
Friday, October 23: Brathwaite:

Monday, October 26: Brathwaite
Wednesday, October 28: Brathwaite
Friday, October 30: Brathwaite: Poem including music and history due.

Monday, November 2: Craig Santos Perez.  Read "Concrete Poem," "Projective Verse" and "Epic" in Padgett.
Wednesday, November 4: Perez
Friday, November 6: Perez.  Write a poem about a word, phrase, sentence, in another language than English.

Monday, November 9: Perez: Second Essay due.
Wednesday, November 11: Perez
Friday, November 13: Perez:

Monday, November 16: In-class exercises: Prof. Schultz in Oz
Wednesday, November 18: In-class exercises: Prof. Schultz off-island.  Sub.
Friday, November 20: In-class exercises: Prof. Schultz off-island. Sub.

Monday, November 23: In-class exercises: Prof. S off-island. Sub.
Wednesday, November 25:
Friday, November 27:Thanksgiving

Monday, November 30: Revisions of #2 due.  Work toward chapbook
Wednesday, December 2: Chapbook work
Friday, December 4: Chapbook work

Monday, December 7: Chapbooks due (reading)
Wednesday, December 9: Reading and evaluations.