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Intersession 2005: Beginning Poetry Writing
Brendan Todt, IMSA Class of 2002

January 10-14, 2005
8:00 am - 11:00 am
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Course Description

Poetry is perhaps our most delicate form of communication, and yet it can bear on its shoulders tremendous weight. Its images are the reflections of cultural and cross-cultural collectives, a reflection of the individual and of the whole not from the outside, but from within. The poem is reflexive. The practicing poet is an organic element of the culture.

This intersession strives to promote an understanding of the poem and its composition and an understanding of the poet's place in a community of writers. It does not aim to develop beginning writers strong in only one aspect of poetry writing or to produce a handful of writers with identical styles, skills, and aesthetics. Instead it asks the student to reflect upon her own writing process, her strengths and weaknesses, so she can better understand the place of her writing in the cultural present and future. It demands openness and cooperation, patience and perspective.

Through the week’s ten sessions, we will explore both craft and content, understanding effective writing styles and attempting to write poems of substance. Individual sessions will consist of discussions of contemporary American poetry, its theory and practice, as well as time for original student composition, and group workshops.

Tentative Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning A Made Thing Sound Eavesdropping Waiting in Line Revision
Afternoon Depersonalization & Workshopping It's Alive Honesty Conferences Reading

Beginning Poetry Writing: Intersession 2005 Application