Poetry Portfolios

Since this is a poetry writing course, most of your grade is determined by how well you write poetry (surprising, I know). You may think that poetry grading is incredibly subjective and that any grade I assign your poems will be arbitrary. There’s some truth to that. I’ve submitted the same poems to many different… Continue reading Poetry Portfolios


I reserve 10% of your final grade to allocate based on your participation in our class discussions, workshops, and the poetry reading near the end of the semester.  This is a course that depends on the eager, thoughtful, wise participation of everyone involved.  Normally, I simply determine this portion of your grade by the percentage… Continue reading Participation

Market Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to help you get familiar with the current poetry publishing scene. You may be surprised to find, for instance, that while many poets teach at universities, poetry magazines are often unaffiliated with a university and are grassroots operations. Over the course of the semester, take time to learn about… Continue reading Market Assignment

Reading Reports

Over the course of the semester, you’ll need to read 10 books of poetry by a living poet.  Most poetry books are quite short—sixty to seventy pages—and if you’re taking this class because you like poetry, you will enjoy this opportunity.  After reading each book, write a one-page, 300-word report. I’m looking for you to… Continue reading Reading Reports

Applied Analyses

Every day that we’re reading from one of the four assigned poets, you will bring an applied analysis of one of the poems you read that day. I am borrowing this assignment from one of my former poetry teachers. It’s what taught me to read, see, and live as a writer of poetry. Over the course of the… Continue reading Applied Analyses