Writing Exercises: “Poem of My Humiliations” and “Admit It”

ENG 326 Writing Poetry: Intermediate University of North Carolina at Greensboro Fall 2017 Note: My intermediate poetry class is wrapping up their discussion of Erika L. Sánchez’s Lessons on Expulsion. All three of these poems appear in the final section of the book, and they model two approaches of the  “function” of a poem. In the […]

Summer, Online Intro to CW Writing Exercise: “Code Switch”

Writing Exercise: “Code Switch” Read a little bit about the linguistic concept of “code-switching.” Now, let’s apply it to your creative writing. Create a dramatic situation in which a first-person narrator has to switch between two different types of language in her narration and in her dialogue, e.g. her dialogue with her best friend is […]

Summer Online Intro to CW Writing Exercise: “Nothing Amiss, Nothing Missed”

Writing Exercise: “Nothing Amiss, Nothing Missed” Your first writing exercise asks you to draw upon the concepts of concrete language, significant details, and mood-inducing setting from Chapters 2: Image and 5: Setting. The exercise is multi-part, so make sure not to miss a step. Take a pen and paper (or laptop, if you’re more comfortable […]

“Ornithology” Poetry Analysis and Imitation Exercise

Class: Introduction to Creative Writing (The College of William & Mary) Genre: Poetry Purpose: To become more scrupulous readers of poetry In order to prepare my Intro to Creative Writing students for talking more about poetry with regard to the author’s intentionality before their poetry workshop, I’m asking them to read and examine the poem […]

Two Poetry Exercises: “The Side of the Road” and “A Pig Is A Pig Is An Idea”

I gave the following two exercises to my Writing Poetry students in the last month. Because these exercises encourage students to build their poems upon concrete description, I’ve presented them together. Class: Writing Poetry (Virginia Commonwealth University) Genre: Poetry Purpose: To explore strategies employed by authors we’ve read as well as situate poems in concrete […]

On Writing Poems, Workshop, and Reading Like a Writer

ON WRITING POEMS, WORKSHOP, AND READING LIKE A WRITER Class: Writing Poetry (Virginia Commonwealth University) Genre: Poetry Purpose: To introduce my students to the expectations of the course while providing them with some insight into the process of reading, writing, and workshopping poems. On Writing Poems In this course, I will not assign topics or […]

“Fame Makes a Man Take Things Over” Exercise

Class: Writing Out of the Ordinary Genre: Creative nonfiction Readings: A packet of persona poems and dramatic monologues Time: 10 minutes 1. Pick a celebrity, sports star, cartoon or comic book character, product mascot (ex. Count Chocula, the Geico gecko, etc.) or newsworthy individual (Octomom, Charles Manson, etc.). 2. Create a mundane problem for that […]