Sunday, April 02, 2006

Homework for April 6.

There is no audioblogging to do this week besides the extra credit opportunity of covering Todd Colby's "Cake." (Details here.)

Here's what you need to do for this Thursday:

1. Bring a dictionary,
any English print dictionary, and copies of your poems to the next class. I'll tell you why on Thursday.

2. Write an informal but focused 2-3 page paper and present it to the class.
It's time to put into words your ideas surrounding the topic of our class and its concentration--the oral interpretation of literature as it relates to the performance of poems. I have provided some handy writing prompts at the end of this assignment that should be helpful for some of you.

The assignment. Outline your reaction to any of the following:

-- your audioblogging Joanna Fuhrman and Drew Gardner poems;
-- your meeting and seeing the poets in-person (however briefly);
-- your experience as you watched or participated in the Poetics Orchestra demonstration; and finally,
-- the reading and performance itself.

Do not write about each and every one of these events--it's only a 2-3 page paper, after all. Limit yourself to one, maybe two of those items, and relate them to an idea or notion of your own practice of reading and performing poems in this class. I should be able to pinpoint a sentence in which you outline your own idea.

Integrate two of the following really short pieces of writing into your paper:

Do not just summarize the reading, although you can do that; try to relate or integrate an idea from these readings with one of your own in the same sentence:

-- This short excerpt from Charles Olsen's essay "Projective Verse";
-- This definition of Flarf, which is a movement or school of poetry to which Drew Gardner belongs;
-- This short excerpt from Frank O'Hara's "Personism: A Manifesto," a primary text of The New York School of Poetry, a tradition of poetry to which Joanna Fuhrman belongs.

Here's some writing prompts that might help you begin five of your paragraphs:

Some of my students in other classes like to have writing prompts to get their thoughts going in a paper. I know do! Change the language below to fit your own needs; the way these prompts are arranged sort of forces you to introduce a notion or idea, question yourself, test it out, explore it, and try another way of expressing it--that is, writing a true "essay." Here are the prompts:

  1. "When I think about how I writer and read aloud my own poems, one [pick: notion or idea] that stands out for me when I write this is ... "
  2. "To be sure, when I saw and heard [pick one: Drew Gardner or Joanna Fuhrman] read [his or her] poems last Thursday, I ...."
  3. "One way to look at it is how [discuss a reading here and relate to your own notion or idea] ..."
  4. "What do we mean by " ... " anyway?"
  5. "In the end, maybe I should change my [notion or idea] slightly. Maybe ..."

For your 5-10 minute oral presentation, you will not be reading the paper to the class. Rather, you will present and expand on the ideas explored in your paper. Be prepared to field questions from your classmates--I will be calling on students to ask questions. You can conduct a short workshop, offer handouts, use the projection screen, read a poem, address a topic you are still wrestling with; in short, teach the class something you have learned thus far in the semester, or something you would like to learn more about, and use the class to make learning happen.

You will be graded on the presentation and the paper.

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