The Poetry program helps students discover their own voices as poets and develop their craft. Graduates of the program are grounded in the history of poetry and poetics and are familiar with a wide range of approaches to writing. The gateway courses in the major are 52-1500 Poetry Workshop: Beginning and 52-1602 Introduction to Poetry . From there, students are poised to begin a sequence of workshop-style classes, including two intermediate and two advanced workshops. Students also take a Craft Seminar, sometimes alongside graduate students in the MFA Program, and literature courses in the English Department, including required courses in three historical periods: pre-20th-century poetry (such as Shakespeare or British Romantic Poetry), Modern poetry (such as American Modernism or Williams & Moore), and contemporary poetry (such as Poetry and Jazz or Experimental Women Poets). Students have a wide range of literature electives (on various topics and authors) to choose from as well, such as Blake to the Beats, Queer Poetry, Poetry of Diversity, Eastern European Poetry, and many others. Examples of Craft Seminars include Hybrid Poetics, Poetry Translation, Literary Collage and Collaboration, Poets’ Journals and Letters, and more.
A two-part capstone experience completes the major. First, 52-3510 Poetics , taken in the Fall semester of junior or senior year, combines the writing of poetry with the study of poetic theory as articulated by such thinkers as Aristotle and by poets through the ages themselves. Poetics is followed by the 52-3520 Undergraduate Thesis Development Seminar , normally taken in the Spring semester of the senior year. In this small, seminar-style course, students write a chapbook-length thesis of poems. At any time during the major (once the gateway courses have been completed), students take 52-1900 Creative Nonfiction Workshop: , gaining experience in another genre. And, in accordance with the English Department’s commitment to interdisciplinary contexts for writing, students choose two writing electives from a broad and varying selection. Such electives include 52-2816 Reviewing the Arts , 52-2814 Writing Comedy , 52-2510 Poetry Workshop: Performance , 52-4502 Literary Magazine Editing: Columbia Poetry Review and Court Green , 52-4503 Literary Magazine Production: Columbia Poetry Review and Court Green , and many others.
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