Module Information

Module Identifier
WR22120
Module Title
Adventures with Poetry
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Dr Paul Mcdonald (Senior Lecturer - University of Wolverhampton)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Workshop 10 x 2 Hour Workshops
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment 1  Six pages of poetry and a critical commentary of 1,000 words, accompanied by a bibliography (not included in the word count). 50% (poetry weighted 75% and commentary/ bibliography weighted 25%). The assignment must engage with material from weeks 1-5.  50%
Semester Assessment Assignment 2  Six pages of poems and a critical commentary with of 1,000 words, accompanied by a bibliography (not included in the word count). 50% (poetry weighted 75% and commentary/bibliography weighted 25%). The assignment must engage with material from weeks 6-10.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission Assignment 1  Resubmit missed or failed element: Six pages of poetry and a critical commentary of 1,000 words, accompanied by a bibliography (not included in the word count). 50% (poetry weighted 75% and commentary/ bibliography weighted 25%). The assignment must engage with material from weeks 1-5.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission Assignment 2  Resubmit missed or failed element: Six pages of poems and a critical commentary with of 1,000 words, accompanied by an annotated bibliography (not included in the word count). 50% (poetry weighted 75% and commentary/bibliography weighted 25%). The assignment must engage with material from weeks 6-1  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of some significant forms and conventions of poetic writing in English.

2. Compose poetry in a range of forms, using contemporary diction and invoking a contemporary context.

3. Write within constraints (either given or devised).

4. Demonstrate knowledge of the ways i which traditional forms impact on contemporary approaches.

5. Develop a self-reflexive awareness of their own writing practice.

6. Make constructive critical responses to their own and other students’ writing, and engage in appropriate revisions of their own work.

Aims

This module is designed to build on the foundational work of the first year core Introduction to Poetry, developing a more advanced technical skills base and introducing students to the imaginative ways in which poetic form is used by contemporary poets.

Brief description

The module mixes traditional poetic forms that require technical knowledge such as rhyming patterns and metrical constraints, with more playful aspects of poetic form, including OulLiPo and collage. In addition to the seminars/workshops there will be a found poetry tour, and students will be encouraged to engage with a range of poetic practices by attending readings and local poetry events.

Content

Teaching will be delivered through weekly two-hour workshops in which students will discuss each other’s written work with their tutor, and be introduced to new topics through provided example texts and discussion.

Weekly Topics

Week One: Short introduction to module. First topic: syllabic forms. We will explore traditions in syllabic poetry from around the world (French, Japanese, Indian and Welsh). Besides looking at the syllabic counts and their effects, we will look at the ways in which poetry enables sharing and keeping of cultural. We will discuss, in more depth, the development of Japanese haiku/senryu into the tanka and also the communally written Renga. As in Japanese traditional writing practice, students will individually write haiku or senryu and in pairs develop these into tanka.

Week Two: An Introduction of concrete poems, considering form as a visual tool. We will discuss the ways in which form and subject are in dialogue when using form to suggest a visual shape, and consider whether content is undermined by the demands of the shape, and whether this matters in a poem of this kind. We will discuss the pros and cons of shaping texts using digital software. The students will choose a visual shape and attempt to write a poem that marries subject and shape.

Week Three: Sonnets: We will explore Petrarchan and Shakespearian sonnets forms, considering the history of the forms and their contemporary use, and how we can develop ways of using the forms ourselves. In groups, students will unpick and turn a traditional sonnet on its head, deciding which constraints to keep and which to do away with, giving informed reasons for these decisions. This ‘adapted’ version will be used as a template to write their own sonnet on a specific subject.

Week Four: OuLiPo and Aleatoric (chance) poetry. We will look at alternative methods of poetic constraint, which movements of poets have used to produce their work. We will be looking at some of the well-known OuLiPo techniques as well as aleatoric poems. Students will be asked to try out a selection of these constraints, including snowball poem and acrostics, and will discuss their experience of using such chance/constraints on their creativity.

Week Five: Repetition as a device. We will explore the ways in which repetition is used in the traditional and contemporary villanelle, sestina and pantoum. We will consider the role of the echo, pattern, and feeling of entrapment in conveying certain subject matter. Students will compare such techniques with those that use strict meter and rhyme.

Week Six: Guest poet. A poet will come to the seminar to give a reading of their work, discuss their working practice and take part in a Q & A session. The students will be able to share their own experiences and to consider new working methods.

Week Seven: Found poems. This session will pivot around a discussion on the ways in which we are surrounded by textual material in all aspects of our lives, the usefulness of this when writing, and the effect of removing traditional, linear patterns to meaning. We will look at ways of ‘collecting’ a range of different materials to write from. Students will then embark on an excursion to collect textual material for their poems.

Week Eight: Collage and cut-up. This session will build on the work of the previous week by asking students to think about the effect of bringing different discourses together to produce a poem, and the ways in which seemingly disparate domains of language, syntax and tone can combine to produce a startling new piece of work. We will look at the techniques used to produce collage and cut-up poetry from the 1950s onwards. As an exercise, students will work with their found material and also with a selection of other texts to produce new poems using different techniques.

Week Nine: Digital poetry and media constructed poetry. From writing twitter and text poems, the students will explore methods of using media and digital techniques to produce and disseminate poems. We will explore on-line archive of digital poetry and look at some multi-media projects. Students will discuss the implications of on-line and interactive poetry – the pros and cons of instant publishing, single author work and collaborative work and the relationship between the global and the poet.

Week Ten. Students devise their own constraints. This is an opportunity for the students to review the material covered throughout the module and to create their own formal constraints to write a poem, supported by their tutor.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Through effective and accurate use of language, grammar, and syntax to express ideas.
Improving own Learning and Performance Through independent reading, research, and creative writing.
Information Technology Word-processing skills required to prepare and submit portfolios; use of digital resources for research. Using the library catalogue for research, and some students may choose to use online tools to devise their own poetic constraints.
Personal Development and Career planning Through critical self-reflection; transferable communication and research skills.
Problem solving By responding to weekly wriitng tasks and respondinfg to feedback on creative work.
Research skills By developing an independent programme of reading to support course materials, using indicative bibliography.
Subject Specific Skills Practical proficiency in creative writing; close reading; analysis of texts and research sources; revision and editing.
Team work Collaboration in seminars and workshops.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5