Recent American Poetry

What's new

On this page I will post changes to the syllabus, class news, new assignment details, etc.

I may also send out e-mail announcements, but it remains your responsibility to check this page regularly for current information.

20 April: all prompts are posted. Group A, see your instructions on the Main Page.

Everyone look at the Main Page for links to required reading.

Don't miss Templeton's statement at the end of the book + the list of cell numbers paired with Amnesty International cases.

19 April : Schedule for the rest of the semester:

Class will not meet on Thurs Apr 24, nor on Thursday May 1.

We will discuss our last book, Fiona Templeton's Cells of Release, on Tues Apr 22 & on Tues 29. Also on the 29th, performances by three students who elected the creative option.

Tues Apr 29 is our last class meeting. Responses to poetry readings are due on that day. You will not receive a grade for this course if you have not attended two poetry readings.

12 April 

All prompts have been posted.

Group C: be sure to read your guidelines on the Main Page.

Readings, including an interview with Dent, have also been posted on the Main Page.

5 April  All prompts are posted. Group B, please read your instructions on the main course page schedule.

Two interviews with Turner--

30 March Be sure to read the syllabus for details of how we will handle discussion for the Nowak book, and also for external links.

All prompts have been posted. Those writing creative responses should read the paper prompts, as well.

23 March  Creative prompts have been posted. I also added one more prompt for papers (comparing Mehmedinovic to Kim).

To those writing papers: the creative prompts contain some ideas about the poems that may help your thinking.

21 March
OK, once again we have postponed the Mark Nowak book. This is the last time we will postpone it. It is your responsibility to get the book in time. So act now. If the bookstore runs out of copies, ask them for a rush oder NOW, not three days before you need it. The publisher also lists places you can buy it
You can also share a copy with a classmate.

However you do it, do it, because your assignments for this book are due on April Fool's Day and "I don't have the book" will not change that fact. I won't accept late papers because you didn't get the book.

For next week online readings and paper prompts are up for Mehmedinovic. Creative prompts will follow sometime over the weekend. Also, watch your email for information on an additional reading.

15 March  The main page is updated for the Allen assignments. It includes readings on the sonnet. Group C: Be sure to read your instructions.

Prompts for papers and for creative responses have been posted.

1 March

The syllabus says your first response to a poetry reading is due at our last meeting before Spring Break. I am extending the deadline to our first meeting AFTER Spring Break. Directions are on the Main Page under Requirements. If you have already attended two readings, you may turn in both responses.

This week's creative prompt has been posted.

For those in Group B, here are a few more resources about erasure texts. Be sure to read this week's instructions for your group, and then consult each other about how you would like to structure our discussion.

Dan Beachy-Quick: The Speaking Ear, here (a review of Radi Os) discusses erasure as a way of reading, erasure texts as books written by reading.

N. Katherine Hayles: A Humument as Technotext, discusses Tom Phillips' A Humument in relation to hypertext. This essay is on Electronic Reserves under my name for ENGL 619.
Password: CREATIVE

For everyone, here is a glimpse of another remarkable altered book/erasure project, Jill Magi's Threads. Her description begins:

"An Old Book Became Threads" documents a book-art project that I worked on after a trip to Estonia.  My father is an Estonian refugee of World War II and in 1997 I traveled there alone, not knowing the language, yet familiar with its sounds from overhearing conversations between relatives as a child. 
"Aware of the history of censorship in Estonia--and paralleling that history were deep silences in my family--I became very interested in visiting used book shops.  Surrounding myself with text I could not read seemed right; the pages there were something to feel, evidence of who
knows what.  I picked up several things but was attracted to this particular book that was almost completely falling apart...."

I will bring the published version of Threads to class.

24 February: Prompts for creative responses for Mullen have been posted.

Everyone else: pay attention to assignment instructions on the schedule and on the paper guidelines. Details are different for this book.

20 February: 
I have updated to schedule to show the sequence and dates of books. The Nowak book is down for late March, on the assumption that it will arrive in time.

All schedule details are in place up to Spring Break, including prompts for analytical papers. Prompts for creative responses are yet to be posted.

After Spring Break, many details are yet to be filled in, but basic information is there about which groups have which responsibilities from week to week.

17 February: Again, to clarify:: for this week read Juliana Spahr, This Connection of Everyone With Lungs, and for next week read Harryette Mullen Muse & Drudge plus selections from Trimmings (both in the volume Recyclopedia).

On this week's schedule, I have added the missing link for the Spahr interview AND added links to poetry by Walt Whitman and Gertrude Stein, and to PennSound, where you can hear Spahr read from and discuss this book.

I have posted prompts for Spahr, for papers and for creative responses. See links at the top of this page.

I have moved all the Creative Prompts previously posted on this page to the Creative Prompts page (duh). New prompts will be posted there each week.

The bookstore has ordered the Nowak book and I will add it back into our schecule once I know when it will arrive.

11 February: I have corrected the schedule on the main page to skip Nowak and go on to Kim. Details are in place for the next three books; beyond that, the page is still under construction.

8 February: The bookstore neglected to order the Nowak book. I am not sure yet if we will read it later, or fall back to a different book which is in stock.

In the meantime, for next week, please read Myung Mi Kim's Under Flag (which shows on the syllabus for the following week).

Groups, follow these assignments:

Groups A&B: Paper due.

Group C: Use the interviews and other secondary reading to explore (and come prepared to talk about) Kim's beliefs about reading and the reader's role in completing the poem's meaning.

Group D: Creative response, written or performed.

28 January:
On the Guidelines page, I have posted prompts for next week's papers on Giscombe.

On the Creative Prompts page, I have added several exercises and ideas. This page is not keyed to individual poets, but offers a range of ideas for you to choose from.

On this page, I have posted additional creative prompts suggested for Giscome Road and for Blue Front. I will continue to do this, for each of our books.

George Mason University

English 390:001

Spring 2008

Tuesday &

Enterprise 275

Susan Tichy 

Robinson A 455A


Office Hours:
T 3:00-4:00
R 3:00-4:00
& by appointment

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