Special Topic: Something in the Air: Mining the Oral/Aural Tradition in African American Poetry|
Spring 2021 not offered
In his book-length manifesto, Poetry as an Insurgent Act, Lawrence Ferlinghetti claims that "the printing press killed poetry." What he seems to be lamenting--at least, in part--is the privileging of the written word to the detriment of poetry's musical, or aural, qualities. In this advanced-level workshop, we will focus on the poem as something intended to be read aloud and listened to. This course will also examine the roots and evolution of the African American oral poetic tradition with special attention paid to the rhetorical strategies derived from the black church, adopted by civil rights leaders and speech writers, and used to varying degrees by poets ranging from those of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and '70s to practitioners of contemporary hip-hop and spoken word. Some of the poets under consideration include Amiri Baraka, Oscar Brown Jr., Jayne Cortez, Gil-Scott Heron, June Jordan, The Last Poets, Carl Hancock Rux, Sonia Sanchez, Patricia Smith, Jessica Care Moore, Laini Mataka, and Saul Williams.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Prerequisites: ENGL216 OR ENGL336 OR ENGL337
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Creative W)(ENGL-Literature)
Jericho Brown, PLEASE. New Issues, 2008.
Cornelius Eady, HARDHEADED WEATHER. Putnam, 2008.
Vievee Francis, HORSE IN THE DARK, Northwestern University Press, 2012.
Aracelis Girmay, KINGDON ANIMALIA. BOA Editions, 2011.
Patricia Smith, BIG TOWNS, BIG TALK, Zooland Books, 1992.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly Submissions: Students will turn in a three to five page response to each week's assigned reading/listening. As well, students are required to turn in a draft of a new poem every other week, according to the workshop schedule.
Your final exam will consist of a public reading from your final portfolio.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Students of all backgrounds are welcome in this course, but you should have taken at least one course in Creative Writing (Techniques, Workshops, or Special Topics, in any genre), Students who haven't taken Techniques of Poetry or a poetry workshop can request a prerequisite override for instructor approval.
Meetings with and readings by visiting writers are a required additional element of the course.
This course contributes to the Creative Writing and Theory & Literary Forms concentrations of the English major.
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