Sequence &

Updates & talk 

We’ll launch the semester with a month of intensive reading of contemporary poetic sequences – lyrical, narrative, and collage – and with a little discussion of method. 'Discussion' of method will include deriving writing exercises from the poems we're reading. The remainder of the semester will be workshop. We’ll start with workshop of individual poems or passages from your works in progress, including your responses to exercises. You may work on a single long sequence or on a number of self-contained collages. If class size permits, we’ll finish with discussions of whole sequences. No analytic writing will be assigned, but you will be asked to lead at least one discussion of our reading early in the semester.

On the first night we will talk about the poles of possibility under the heading “Sequence and Collage,” and we’ll do so by comparing Robert Hayden’s “Middle Passage,” Adrienne Rich’s “Twenty-One Love Poems” and two poems by Marianne Moore – “Marriage” and “An Octopus.” All are widely available; please read or reread them before the semester begins and bring them to class on the first night.

Your grade will be based on your writing (40%), your engagement with the readings & exercises (20%), and your participation in workshop (20%).

Reading Schedule                     Books ordered at GMU book store

Week 1. Jan 24.                                       A list of sequences & collages

Marianne Moore: "Marriage" & "An Octopus"

Robert Hayden: "Middle Passage"

Adrienne Rich: "21 Love Poems."

Charles Altieri on collage method
as one of the fundamental modes of writing

Leonard Diepeveen on "the quoting poem"  

Week 2. Jan 31.

Spencer Reece: "The Florida Ghazals," in The Clerk's Tale.

Maggie Nelson: Jane.

Week 3. Feb 7.

Peter Streckfus: "The Organum," in The Cuckoo.

Rosemary Waldrop: A Key into the Language of America.

Note: It's Jan 4 & the bookstore says they can't get the Waldrop book, so you may want to start looking for it on your own.


4. Feb 14

Snyder: Myths & Texts

Pow: "Landscapes" in Landscapes and Legacies. This book will be distributed free in class.


5. Feb 21.

Semezdin Mehmedinovic: "Nine Alexandrias," in Nine Alexandrias

Mullen: Muse & Drudge.

Electronic Poetry Center's Harryette Mullen Page

The bookstore says a new edition of Mullen is coming out, maybe around the 1st of Feb. You may want to find your own copy in the meantime.

Books Ordered at GMU Book Store:

Spencer Reece. The Clerk’s Tale. Mariner/Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

Maggie Nelson. Jane. Soft Skull Press, 2005. 1932360719.

Peter Streckfus. The Cuckoo. Yale University Press, 2004. 0-300-10272-0.

Rosemary Waldrop. A Key into the Language of America. New Directions,

Gary Snyder. Gary Snyder. Myths & Texts. New Directions.

Harryette Mullen. Muse & Drudge. Singing Horse Press, 1995. 0-935162-15-1.

Semezdin Mehmedinović. Nine Alexandrias. City Lights Books, 2003.


English 619: 001: Special Topics in Writing:
Sequence & Collage

Susan Tichy

George Mason University

Spring 2006



English 619:002

Spring 2006
Tuesday 4:30-7:10

David King Hall 2054

Susan Tichy

Robinson A 455A


T 3:00-4:00

R 5:30-6:45 &
by appointment

Susan Tichy's
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