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WRI 125A: Poetry
COURSE Catalog Description
Provides opportunity to pursue advanced work in creative writing by focusing on one genre:
poetry. With permission of the instructor, this course can be repeated once for
credit. Prerequisite: WRI 025 and WRI 090. Normal Letter Grade only.
Course Description
Following the introductory creative writing coursework, students in this course deepen their
understanding and process of writing and analyzing poetry. Students connect to genres and
hybrid forms of poetry in contemporary literature and place their process and production of
poems into contemporary context. Students also negotiate their work in drafts, giving and
receiving feedback both in and out of workshops.
WRI 125A Course Goals:
1. Provide opportunities to explore contemporary literary creative expression
2. Refine understanding of writing conventions within literary genres through the
comparison and application of aesthetic principles
3. Support aesthetic understanding and creativity in written and oral discourse
4. Provide opportunities to develop and revise a cumulative writing project
WRI 125A Course & Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will practice and refine their capacity to…
1. Understand and practice affective and formal qualities of different modes within
a genre
2. Integrate elements of craft and genre conventions into own writing
3. Assess peer writing and provide constructive feedback, and modify own work by
integrating relevant feedback
4. Demonstrate familiarity with contemporary issues within a genre
5. Identify some relationships between current writing projects and future creative
writing goals
Students will draft and revise creative & critical work (drafts, exercises, analyses, etc.), as well
as work specifically reflecting on aesthetic awareness of the genre and the student’s work (a
poetry manifesto, statement of poetics). A significant portion of the course involves workshop
preparation & engagement, leading to intensive drafting of a substantial chapbook of poems or
other portfolio work, accompanied by critical analysis, all of which is reflective of substantial
drafting steps and revision strategies.
Writing Minor Learning Outcomes
WRI 125 is a writing intensive course that addresses each of the Writing Minor Learning
Outcomes through extensive experiences with process (PLO1), rhetoric (PLO2), collaboration
(PLO3), research ethics (PLO4) and craft (PLO5). Process, rhetoric, and craft are all served by
reading and analyzing texts and students reflecting on their artistic and analytical process of
writing. Regular workshop and feedback as well as understanding of genre and articulating
one’s place in it satisfy collaboration (PLO3); as T.S. Eliot said, “good poets borrow, great poets
steal,” and students in this course effectively collaborate with their sources of form and
inspiration. Research ethics (PLO4) are surprisingly satisfied by rendering critical work that
articulates a high level of awareness of influences on creative work from other authors.
GE Principles
Foremost, this course engages aesthetic understanding and creativity, particularly to
contemporary literature. Communication to literary audiences is primary but students also
frequently engage critical feedback among peers (workshop and peer review). Information in
the form of personal research as well as qualitative readings about critical value of poetry and
language lead to critical decisions reflecting both on student work and the work in the place of
contemporary literature production. Diverse perspectives are needed to evaluate the different
forms and means of production of poems, such as writing characters from points of view
different from the author/student. The workshop format as well as class sessions are
essentially teamwork, while the diverse perspectives brought to bear on character,
narrator/speaker, and how these are received by multiple audiences and the society in which
those audiences operate suggests fulfillment of the self and society aspect of the GE principles.