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Beginning Poetry Workshop: Composition

Program(s): Undergraduate Courses, Summer College

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  At its root, the verb compose means to "put together," so in this course we will explore poetic composition as the practice of putting words together in ways that help us compose, discompose, and recompose parts of our lives. Our basic premise will be that poetry offers useful forms of attention and construction, so that to write is to observe the world and to fashion ways of living in it. We will pay particular attention to some fundamental elements of poetic composition- sound, diction, syntax, line, stanza, image- and to the skills of observation, memory, and revision. To guide our own writing practices, we will study intensively the work of four poets from last hundred years- William Carlos Williams, Lorine Niedecker, Gwendolyn Brooks, and James Schuyler- as well as a supplemental selection of contemporary poetry. Regular reading assignments will be paired with regular exploratory writing exercises; remote learning activities will include live Zoom discussions and writing workshops, Canvas discussions, and collaborative online writing and editing exercises.

Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

11th Grade
12th Grade
Undergrad / Grad


Undergraduate Courses
Summer College

Start Date

June 21

End Date

July 09

Class Details

Primary Instructor

Patrick Morrissey

Academic Interest

Humanities (e.g., arts, philosophy)
Writing and Literature

Class Specifics

Course Code

CRWR 10306 91

Class Day(s)

Mon Wed Fri

Class Duration (CST)


12:30 P.M.


Session I

Course Length

3 weeks