You will be expected to complete a passing grade in both the Literature and Creative Writing components of the course in order to pass the class.

    Literature: You will read a range of poetic forms and styles from the history of English Language and World Literature, as well as contemporary poets. I hope you will get the chance to enjoy, appreciate, interpret, analyze, and compare poems to figure out what poetic styles are the most interesting and moving for you.

    • Read: Read numerous model poems in a variety of styles from a variety of periods, discuss and annotate.
    • Poetry out Loud: Read aloud numerous model poems and build oral and non-verbal communication skills for formal-dramatic recitation of a poem. All will present one POL poem in the class competition; winners serve as “finalists” to represent at the Tam finals competition and maybe go on to POL at Marin or California!
    • Literary Interpretation & Analysis: Learn and utilize literary terms to understand how poems are crafted. Consider devices of both descriptive and figurative language, sound, and form.
    • Quick Writes: Compose reflective responses to multiple poems.
    • Poetry Papers: Write formal paragraph responses and expand and revise 1 response per marking period into a formal poetry appreciation paper (short essay).
    • Research: one poet from a movement/period of poetry. Write a paper and do a presentation that includes: biographical overview, career in poetry and place in literary history, literary appreciation of poet’s work including interpretation and analysis of a few poems.

    Creative Composition: Our goal is to develop individual poetic style and voice.  We will do this through practicing the poetic “tools of the trade” (utilizing poetry techniques and devices that we learn about through our dialogue with model literature), combined with exploring creative venues for self-expression and poetic play.  Keep a “Poetry Writer’s Journal” as a safe space for first draft creative writing. This can be a bound journal, a section of your binder, (or sometimes even recordings).

    • Draft Poems: Write numerous poem drafts in response to poetry exercises (some in-class and some home-work) and “free” original writing.
      • Respond to and develop subject-oriented prompts.
      • Apply poetry techniques and utilize poetic devices in your original creative writing. (sound devices, form, descriptive imagery, reflective abstraction and figurative language)
      • Echo work: Write poems mimicking or responding to the style of poets and poems showing creatively that you “heard” them.
      • Write a song
      • Muse—ic? Create original poetic pieces inspired by what “a-muse-s” you.
    • Poetry Collections: Bring typed poetry drafts to the writer’s workshops for peer responses. Submit one poem to the Marin Poetry Center Anthology. Craft 5-10 (or more) great final poems per marking period (based on your journal-drafts), 15-30 (or more) for the semester.
    • Poetry Performance: Read aloud, and dramatically recite your original poems culminating in the “Kurita-Café” at the end of the semester. Some students will choose to also participate in Tam’s SLAM club and try out for our SLAM team.