For Marianne Moore, genuine poetry contained “imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” Contemporary poetry has blossomed into a thicket of ideas and aesthetics with all manner of amphibians. It is a superb time to join the ever-expanding community of writers bushwhacking their way through poetic conventions.
In this eight-week course, we will focus on creative strategies and experiment with various craft elements. Two anthologies of formal verse—The Making of a Poem, edited by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, and An Exaltation of Forms, edited by Annie Finch and Kathrine Varnes—will serve as generative engines. Supplementary handouts will further encourage possibilities and identify potential pitfalls in your poetic practice.
The most important texts for the course will be the work of students, which will be read with compassion as well as constructive critique. Finally, we’ll discuss getting your work into the hands of a wider readership and opportunities to engage with the wider Houston literary community.