348 Advanced Creative Writing

ENGL 348/3 Advanced Poetry Workshop
M-W 14:45 – 16:00
Sina Queyras LB 674 2

This is an advanced poetry workshop. The bulk of our time will be spent reading and discussing student work. However, students will also read and discuss contemporary poetry and poetics in book, and from print and online journals that arise out of our discussions, or are related to the books we read. Navigating the world of poetry requires a certain amount of thinking about one’s aesthetic and lineage. Assignments will be given throughout the term designed to get you thinking about your work as part of a larger conversation, while focussing your formal and thematic concerns. These assignments will evolve organically out of our discussions rather than be imposed on our discussions, and they will be self-directed. To that end, we will not have a reading schedule, but rather a list of books to read from and refer to in our discussions as well as poems and essays that I will bring in or point you to throughout the year.

We will begin our workshop schedule the second week of term. Students will have work prepared and handed out a week in advance of their workshop date. There is zero-tolerance for absences or late submissions. More than four unexplained absences in a semester will make it difficult to receive credit barring exceptional circumstances.

This class is based on an assumption that you are writers in training. To that end you will self-manage your writing time, and your assignments. Your peer commenting, reading responses and assignments are up to you to write down and follow up on. My job is to throw out ideas—you catch them or not, it’s up to you, and whatever you want to follow up on, we will do so in class, or in office hours.

I suggest each student make an appointment with me mid-way through the semester.

You can follow along here https://introductiontocreativewriting.wordpress.com
Any pages I might post for you—Including this syllabus—will be password protected. The password will be Concordia3482016

Required Texts:
Broadbent, Laura, In On The Joke, Coach House* (October 21, 2016)
Buffam, Suzanne A Pillow Book, Anansi (November 3, 2016)
Queyras, Sina, Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets, Ed, Persea, 2005
Robertson, Lisa 3 Summers Coach House *(October 21, 2016)
Robbins, Michael Alien V. Predator, Penguin
Rankine, Claudia, Citizen, Greywolf (March 12, 2017)
Shockley, Evie, The New Black, Wesleyan (November 4, 2016)

* Books will be launched at Concordia

Suggested Texts:
Best Canadian Poetry 2014, Sonnet L’Abbe, ed, Tightrope, 2015
The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry In The Age Of Hip-Hop, eds Kevin Coval, Quraysh Ali Lansana
The Oulipo Compendium, ed Mathers and Brotchie, Atlas Press, London 2005

Online texts (list will grow, so check back)
Louise Gluck, “Against Sincerity,” http://0-www.jstor.org.mercury.concordia.ca/stable/pdf/27781252.pdf?_=1470257864117



50% WRITING 1,2,3:

1.Students will be responsible for weekly reading responses. These responses (to student work and/or to readings for the week) should provide the basis for your in-class discussion and will be handed in at the end of every class (not graded but checked & commented when relevant). I will assign everyone a reading response once, after that it’s up to you do them as you wish.

2.Over the course of the semester you will be given on-going writing assignments. These will include short and longer-term projects and they will arise out of our discussions rather than be imposed ahead of the class. Come prepared to share, either verbally, or by hand out as instructed, but these are generally for you to do, or not, as you wish. You need to develop your own inner coach.

3. 10-15 pages at the end of the first semester and 30 pages of poetry by the end of the year. The work should be crafted into manuscript form (though not necessarily a completed manuscript) and include a statement of poetics. These poems will be culled from the work you do over the semester as assignments and/or on your own. The portfolio may include excerpts (reading responses, thinking about poetry, etc., whatever you believe is relevant to your progress). Your portfolio must reflect a sense of polish (somewhat) and consideration if you will, but not necessarily a final product. You may include a range of exercises as well as your creative work.

Mid term and End of term portfolios will be commented on (the final will only be returned to those who provide an SASE).



There are three ways to achieve your full potential here and that includes showing up, engaging with the work under discussion and leading or presenting on readings/events etc. Obviously I value your presence in the classroom and feel it’s essential to the success of the workshop. There is zero-tolerance for absences or late submissions.

Students are required to attend at least two events per semester, and to offer a presentation of that event. Please see Writers Read schedule attached.

Please see reviews of events on Lemonhound.com and elsewhere. Here’s a sample, Emily Keeler discussing Anne Carson.