Sunday, March 26, 2006

Writers and Ideas Syllabus

English 132: Blue Begonia Poets

Spring 2006
Instructor: Dan Peters
Office hour: 930-1030 M-F A208C
Class Website:
Other website of interest:

Required Texts/Materials
· Still Life in the Physical World, Gayle Kaune
· Lost River Mountain and/or Kiot, Charles Potts
· Beethoven and the Birds and/or Storm, Judith Skillman
· Weathered Pages: The Poetry Pole, eds. Bodeen, Martin, Prout
· Blue Bowl, Lynn Martin
· Suggested: IBM formatted disk, notebook, 3 ring binder, highlighter pens, blue & black ink pens, email, dictionary.

Required Work
· Readings as assigned.
· One page of notes, typed, the week following a lecture/reading.
· Distribution of at least one flyer per week. You pick where.
· Quizzes as needed.
· In class assignments

· 4 reading responses, approx. every two weeks.
Ø Responses may include

o Answering “questions to ask of any poem.”

o Letter to the poet

o Memorize and recite a poem.

o An imitation poem/story based on a theme, style, motif or line(s) from your reading. Must include a paragraph explanation of connection.

Marvin Bell says, Learning to write is a simple process: read something, then write something; read something else and write something else. And show in your writing what you have read.

He also says, You do not learn from work like yours as much as you learn from work unlike yours.

o A redesigned cover, Must include new blurb(s), image(s), fonts etc. using Microsoft publisher or Adobe Pagemaker programs. Must include paragraph explanation of choices.

o A broadside based on one of the poems, designed using Microsoft publisher, to be printed on 11x17 paper (either horizontal or vertical). Must include a paragraph explanation of choices.

o Other options as assigned.

One group project
Each group will be responsible for one of our visiting poets.
Ø Your responsibilities include:

o Contacting the poet one week prior to their lecture/reading with directions to the venue and confirmation of times, format.

o Hotel/Dinner reservations, if requested.

o Room set up if requested, including chairs/tables, technology etc.
§ See me about contacting facilities people.

o A “cliff notes” study guide for the book we are studying, including
§ Summary and Analysis of the text as a whole
§ Study questions to help the reader better understand the poems.
§ List of themes, motifs, symbols, styles and examples
§ Short biography?

o A set of questions to ask the poet during their visit to our class.

o An introduction to be read before the poet’s public reading.

o Operation of video equipment during the reading.

o A gift for our guest
§ Flowers? Food? Book? YVCC memento?

Attendance Policy

If you miss 2 classes for any reason, you will lose one letter grade.
If you miss 4 classes you will lose two letter grades
If you miss 6 classes, you will be withdrawn from the course.

Please, come on time. Turn off the electronics. Lean in.

Requirements for essays and homework
All essays and homework are due on the date assigned.

Late papers will be not be accepted.

All assignments must be typed or printed on a computer printer.
Keep a HARD COPY of everything

· All work will be graded on a 0-4 scale.
4= A
3.7= A-
3.3= B+
3.0= B
2.7= B-
2.3= C+
2.0= C
1.7= C-
1.3= D +
1.0= D
.9= F
Course Adaptation: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please talk with me as soon as possible.

Class schedule:

v First class.
v Syllabus.
v Introductions.
v Some basics on poetry.
v Powerpoint about the press.
v Gayle Kaune book preview.

v Gayle Kaune lecture on being “Under the Influence”
v Questions.
v Break
v Public Reading

v Gayle Kaune debrief
v First reading response due on Gayle Kaune
v Charles Potts Cliff Notes due.
v Charles Potts group leads discussion/preview

v Charles Potts lecture
v Questions
v Break
v Public Reading

v Charles Potts debrief
v Second reading response due on Charles Potts
v Judith Skillman Cliff Notes due.
v Judith Skillman group leads discussion/preview

v Judith Skillman lecture on revision
v Questions
v Break
v Public Reading

v Judith Skillman debrief
v Third reading response due on Judith Skillman
v Weathered Pages Cliff Notes due.
v Weathered Pages group leads discussion/preview
v Field Trip?

v Editors of Weathered Pages lecture
v Questions
v Break
v Public Reading

v Weathered Pages debrief
v Fourth reading response due on Weathered Pages
v Lynn Martin Cliff Notes due.
v Lynn Martin group leads discussion/preview

5.30 Special Tuesday Class
v Lynn Martin lecture
v Questions
v Break
v Public Reading

v Lynn Martin debrief
v Fifth reading response due on Lynn Martin


Writers and Ideas Reading Schedule

Click for video preview.

April 3rd: Gayle Kaune has published widely in literary magazines including Willow Springs, Seattle Review, Greenfield Review, Centennial Review and South Florida Poetry Review. Her poems have won several Washington Poets’ Association Awards, the Ben Hur Lampman Prize and been nominated for a Pushcart prize. Her chapbook, Concentric Circles, won the Flume Press award and her book, Still Life in the Physical World is available from Blue Begonia Press. Gayle has recently relocated from the Eastern Washington desert to Port Townsend, WA.

April 17th: Charles Potts
has had a dozen books of poetry published since 1996, the most recent: The Portable Potts from Albuquerque’s West End Press in 2005. Other new titles still in print include three from Blue Begonia Press in Yakima: Kiot: Selected Early Poems, 1963-1977, Lost River Mountain and Slash & Burn; Across the North Pacific from Slough Press; a reprint of Little Lord Shiva: The Berkeley Poems, 1968, from Glass Eye Books; and Nature Lovers from Pleasure Boat Studio. Other books in print include How the South Finally Won the Civil War: And Controls the Political Future of the United States.

May 1st: Judith Skillman is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Eric Mathieu King Fund from the Academy of American Poets for her book “Storm,” Blue Begonia Press, 1998. Grants include a Writer’s Fellowship from the Washington State Arts Commission, a publication prize and public arts grant from the King County Arts Commission. Her poems have appeared in FIELD, Poetry, Southern Review, Seneca Review, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Journal of the American Medical Association, Fiberarts, Northwest Review, and many other journals. Skillman’s “Heat Lightning: New and Selected Poems 1986 – 2006 “ was published in early 2006 by Silverfish Review Press. “Coppelia, Certain Digressions,” is due out in the fall of 2006 from David Robert Books. Skillman is a Faculty Member at City University in Bellevue, Washington.

May 15th: Editors, Weathered Pages Anthology, Jim Bodeen, Terry Martin, and Rob Prout. A six-foot cedar post, the word POETRY carved on both the east and west sides, planted in a garden on a street corner in Yakima, Washington, pushpins stuck in the wood. For ten years, hundreds of people have pinned thousands of poems to the Poetry Pole at Blue Begonia Press. Weathered Pages is a sampling of the work of those who have used the Poetry Pole as a source of inspiration.

After time in the weather, the pages have been taken down and saved—until now. Poems collected here represent a decade of testimony pinned and flying from a cedar post planted in a garden. They may trigger what you're looking for in your own life. There is room on the Poetry Pole for everybody.

May 30th: Lynn Martin “Arising from a sequence of great losses, Lynn Martin’s poems walk straight into the deepest sorrow. There, face to face with the most terrifying state of not knowing, they expand outward to the farthest rim of affirmation—where the blue bowl holds everything.” —Noelle Oxenhandler, Essayist, The New Yorker