Poetry Writing Exercise: “Don’t Be Afraid: Self-Elegy or Self-Celebration” for Master Class I Have Been a Pleasure: On the Self-Elegy and Celebration

Today, before a reading, I will teach a poetry master class at Warren County Community College called I Have Been a Pleasure: On the Self-Elegy and Celebration. With a handout, we will begin by considering and reconsidering the definitions of elegy, praise poems, and ode from Edward Hirsch’s A Poet’s Glossary, making connections between each […]

Erasure and Revision Exercise: “Dear ________”

Students in my online, 24PearlStreet “Every Phantom // A Story: Erasure and Revision” course explored erasure as a political and social justice act and then completed “Dear       ,” an erasive poetry exercise, last week after reading the following assignments: “The Near Transitive Properties of the Political and Poetical: Erasure” by Solmaz Sharif. […]

Craft of Poetry Discussion Exercise: “What Is a Poem? What Is Poetry?”

Note: In this in-class discussion exercise, my ENG 2030 students were able to interrogate the questions “what is poetry?” and “what is a poem?” by looking at different texts, some poetic and some religious and some musical, in order to answer the question. The links to the texts are below the directions. “Sonnet 71” by […]

Class Guest (with Board Notes) at Elgin  Community College

I visited Rachael Stewart’s creative writing class at Elgin Community College today, where I asked students to pay intuitive attention to where lines are broken. I wrote the first stanza of “Inverstaid” by Gerard Manley Hopkins without lineation on the board. I asked them to put line breaks where they think he broke them, and […]

Craft of Prose Reading and Writing Exercise: Beautiful Sentences

Here is the writing exercise my substitute will do with my Craft of Prose class on Thursday, when I am in Chicago. I have redacted my students’ sentences, which are necessary to complete the writing exercise portion, in order to protect their creative work. Beautiful Sentences As a class, listen to each of these sentences […]

Presentation & Handouts for Lecture: “It’s Alive: Why Poetry Still Matters”

On Wednesday, November 16, I gave the lecture “It’s Alive: Why Poetry Still Matters” at Rutherford Hall in Allamuchy, New Jersey. Here are the materials for that talk: Slide Presentation: “It’s Alive: Why Poetry Still Matters” Handout for Audience Discussion This talk also transformed into my November 2016 blog post for Ploughshares, “Truth & Dread: […]

“Grown-Together Discussion” Reading Exercise for Craft of Prose

To prepare my Craft of Prose class for Megan Mayhew Bergman’s visit to Centenary University on Wednesday, November 9th at 6 pm and for their group presentations at the end of the semester, my students broke up into groups to present upon the first five stories in Bergman’s Almost Famous Women in “Grown-Together Discussion.”

“Spin” Reading and Writing Exercise for ENG 2031

For “Spin,” students will be negotiating subtext, rumor, dramatic irony, subjectivity, objectivity, and context in our readings and their own work. Students will discuss the elements of reportage and rumor in their icebreaker text, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and then discern the difference between Rowling’s subtext and the subtext, however erroneous, read […]

“Pop Art” Writing Exercise for my Online Prose Workshop

Last week, my Online Prose Workshop read “Hepburn and Garbo” (pgs. 151–165) and “Ten Notes on Oscar Weekend” (212–221) in Zadie Smith’s Changing My Mind; “Upon This Rock”  from John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead;  and “Looking Around” from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. They then completed the following reading discussion: Changing My Mind is a series of occasional essays. Select one of Smith’s essay […]