According to William Carlos Williams, "A poem is a small (or large) machine made of words." In this workshop, we will build these machines, with careful attention to the parts--word, line, and stanza; pacing, form, and rhyme. Weekly exercises will help students experiment and practice various poetic elements. Readings, of mostly contemporary poetry, will serve as inspiration and/or models for these exercises.
Students' poems will be read and discussed during workshops with the goal of cultivating each other's voice and style. In addition, students will practice and consider extensive revisions for the sake of improving others' and their own work. Furthermore, through workshops and written explications, students will develop a critical approach to poetry.
Members of the beginning poetry workshop will explore the challenges writing and reading poetry pose: What is poetry? What makes it worthwhile? Where do we find inspiration? Through dialogue, writing procedures, spells and incantations, we will discover if and how the muse can be summoned.
Tuition & Fees Most summer courses are offered at the standard Continuing Education tuition rate of $1,512 per point ($4,536 for a 3-point course and $9,072 for a six-point intensive). For more detailed information, please see "tuition and fees": http://arts.columbia.edu/summer/tuition-fees
Materials fee: $20
About the INstructor
Robert Ostrom is from Jamestown, New York. He is the author of The Youngest Butcher in Illinois and two chapbooks, To Show the Living and Nether and Qualms. His poems have most recently appeared in Guernica, Vinyl, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art and Gulf Coast. He lives in Queens and teaches at the City University of New York and Columbia University.