Getting Poems Started, Keeping Them Going
Mark Wunderlich’s course will provide you with practical tools for starting poems, building on them, revising them and pushing them to their best possible conclusions. Using letters, directions, prayers, lists, litanies, etc. as a starting point, you will be guided through the entire development process for creating your own personal poems.
In this course, students will complete a series of guided assignments based on different rhetorical forms—letters, directions, prayers, lists, litanies, etc.— and produce multiple drafts of new poems which students will then revise. The intended goal of this course is to provide you with practical tools for starting poems, building on them, revising them and pushing them to their best possible conclusions. This course is appropriate for beginners, though some knowledge of the fundamentals of prosody will be useful.
In addition to your own work, we will read work of contemporary (and not so contemporary) poets whose poems model some of the strategies you will practice during our weeks together. You will be asked to respond to the poems in our group conversations, to each other, and to me.
Mark Wunderlich is the author of The Anchorage, which received the Lambda Literary Award, Voluntary Servitude (Graywolf, 2004) and The Earth Avails, forthcoming from Graywolf. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford, as well as two fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center. He has taught in the graduate writing programs at Columbia, Sarah Lawrence, San Francisco State and Ohio University, and currently teaches writing and literature at Bennington College. He lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.