Sunday, August 25, 2002

And this is my plan for teaching poetry!

My philosophy of teaching poetry, or what will happen in this class.

This is a class for poets at all levels.

First of all, there will be reading of other poets. And then there will be writing. Lots of both. I will bring in poems that I have found to be a catalyst for my own writing, in both style and content. I want people to forget about what they think a poem should be, and how it should sound or look. My philosophy is “make it new”. (Yes, Ezra Pound said that first.) I will focus on helping students create original and genuine language and ideas. I want each student, by the end of the class, to have her own unique definition of what makes a poem. Each meeting, I will assign three students to bring in their own poems and have them discussed. Students may tell the class how much criticism they want, and how comfortable they feel with certain kinds of critique. The class should feel safe enough so that each student can try something new and not be afraid of the class’s reaction. Don’t worry about what your mother would think or what is politically correct. I encourage to students to write about what moves them deeply, what makes them cry and then makes them feel silly. If students like, they can give me other poems in excess of what is assigned and I will critique them and bring them back the following week. I encourage all students to try new things, to write about things that scare them. And... I have a personal bias against rhyme.

Also, no sex between students unless I'm involved.

Okay, the last bit won't go in the catalogue.

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