Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Syllabus for Experimental Poetry

Experimental Poetry (EN399VA) Summer 2012 Course Policy Statement

Online course on ANGEL

Professor: Dennis Etzel, Jr.                
E-mail: dennis.etzel@washburn.edu                         

PostModern American Poetry, Ed. Paul Hoover
American Hybrid, Eds. Cole Swensen and David St. John  
Online links

Required Supplies:
Access to a computer with internet (also see Mabee Library or TSC Public Library for access)

Highly-Recommended Supplies:
Flash drives for storing and backing up your computer files.

Mission of the University:
Washburn University enriches the lives of students by providing opportunities for them to develop and to realize their intellectual, academic, and professional potential, leading to becoming productive and responsible citizens. We are committed to excellence in teaching, scholarly work, quality academic and professional programs, and high levels of faculty-student interaction. We develop and engage in relationships to enhance educational experiences and our community.  Washburn University Board of Regents, 2010

Course Philosophy and Description:

This course will highlight Twentieth-Century American experimental poets for each of their respective movements: The Modernists, The Beats, Language Poets, Contemporary Hybrid, and Flarf. There is both a literature and a creative writing aspect in the study of these movements. Assignments include: assigned readings, discussion posts, discussion post responses, poetry writing, and essay writing over the assigned readings. These assignments will enhance the objectives of reading, writing, and the understanding of theories and histories behind each poet and movement.

Online Atmosphere: 
Please be respectful of your peers when posting online to the discussion boards on ANGEL.  For information about the University’s Code of Conduct, please see Washburn University’s Student Conduct Code in the catalog or student planner/handbook. 

How To Submit Your Work:
Put your name, my name, the name of the course, and the date on the top left of the first page.  Skip lines between each entry:      
Your Name
Dennis Etzel, Jr.
June 10, 2012
All papers should be typed, double-spaced, using one-inch margins. The font should be 12pt.and Times New Roman. The file format should be in MS Word or Rich Text Format (.rtf). MS Works, WordPerfect, etc. users should save their file in RTF format before submitting online.

A "Works Cited" page is optional. However, please include page numbers in parentheses after quotes, paraphrases, etc. AKA: MLA format.

In the past, a few students had troubles with submitting files in the submit screen. Please print off and use this “checklist” to help with the process:

                     Be sure to click "attachments"
                     The attachment box will come up. Select "Browse," then find your file on your computer. Select "OK."
                     Be sure to click the "Upload File" button in the attachment box.
                     Your file will appear in the "Uploaded Files" box.
                     Then click "Finished" to close the attachment box. This places the file into the submit e-mail.
                     You should be back to the original submit screen.
                     Does your file's name appear above the submit button? If not, your file did not attach correctly. The name should appear between the "Attachment" and "Submit" buttons.
                     Click "Submit."

I've also read that Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox is recommended for ANGEL. If in doubt, I recommend using the school's computer if at all possible.

If you are a Mac user, please be aware files often do not work with ANGEL system. I might request you to resend your file, so please check for e-mails often.

Page/ poem lengths: I always grade quality over quantity, but a poem should have more than ten lines. Essays #1 and #2 should be 3-6 pages. Essay #3 should be 5-10 pages. Note: For the last essay, please go past the three-point, five-paragraph essay.

The following assignments will be graded using this point system:
Discussion Posts                                 25 points each (100 points total)
Discussion Responses                         25 points each (100 points total)
Note: Assigned points for these discussions will appear as a sum total of the two
Poem and paragraph                           75 points each (300 points total)
Essay #1                                              150 points
Essay #2                                              150 points
Essay #3                                              200 points

The final grade will be evaluated based on the total of 1000 points:
900-1000=A, 800-899=B, 700-799=C, 600-699=D, and below 600 is an F.

Late assignments have a penalty of points equivalent to a letter grade within each 24-hour period of being late.

Remember: I check my email on ANGEL often and can also meet one-on-one with enough notice. I pride myself on having an open availability.

Grading Rubrics:

For a poem

Evaluation Criteria
Needs revision
Above Average
(Poem fits with accompanying  paragraph’s description?)

(Displays understanding of poem(s) and/or theory(ies) via the written poem? Connects elements?)

(Enough support, detail, words? This is very subjective, but you should try for more than ten lines.)

(Is there a fitting structure?)

(Relatively free of distracting surface errors? Rhetorical strategies? Appropriate tone?)

For an essay

Evaluation Criteria
Needs revision
Above Average
(Essay has a clear purpose? Explains one main idea? Makes clear points and assertions?)

(Displays understanding of poem(s), theorist(s), introduction(s)? Connects elements?)

(Enough support, detail, elaboration, examples, explanation?)

(Arrangement of info and ideas logical and easy to follow? Is there a fitting structure?)

(Relatively free of distracting surface errors? Rhetorical strategies? Appropriate tone?)

General information:

The Tutoring Office at Mabee Library:
I strongly urge you to utilize Washburn University’s Tutoring Service if you know you need help with your writing. They will be able to help with the things I cannot necessarily help with. I can give advice for writing and show you examples, but I can’t co-author essays for a better grade. The Tutoring Office provides free one-on-one tutoring to all Washburn students enrolled in all levels.  Please call (785) 670-1397 to get the specific hours they will be open.

Definition of a Credit Hour:
For every credit hour awarded for a course, the student is typically expected to complete approximately one hour of classroom instruction, online interaction with course material, or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two additional hours of student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. For summer classes, the equivalent is 18 hours a week.

(Personal note: I don’t think you will need 18 hours a week to work on this class’ projects. However, you should plan accordingly, based on the assignment due.)

Academic Misconduct Policy:
All students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately and ethically in their academic work.  Inappropriate and unethical behavior includes (but is not limited to) giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of papers or other assignments, or knowingly misrepresenting the source of academic work.  Washburn University’s Academic Impropriety Policy describes academically unethical behavior in greater detail and explains the actions that may be taken when such behavior occurs.  For guidelines regarding protection of copyright, consult www.washburn.edu/copyright/students. For a complete copy of the Academic Impropriety Policy, contact the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center Suite 200, or go on-line to:  www.washburn.edu/admin/vpaa/fachdbk/FHsec7.html#VIII

Disability Services:
The Student Services Office is responsible for assisting in arranging accommodations and for identifying resources on campus for persons with disabilities.  Qualified students with disabilities must register with the office to be eligible for services.  The office MUST have appropriate documentation on file in order to provide services.  Accommodations may include in-class note takers, test readers and/or scribes, adaptive computer technology, brailled materials.  Requests for accommodations should be submitted at least two months before services should begin; however, if you need an accommodation this semester, please contact the Student Services Office immediately.

Location:  Student Services, Morgan Hall Room 135  (new location)
Phone:  785-670-1629 or TDD 785-670-1025
E-Mail:  student-services@washburn.edu

Students may voluntarily identify themselves to the instructor for a referral to the Student Services Office.

Office of Academic Advising:
As a Washburn student, you may experience difficulty with issues such as studying, personal problems, time management, or choice of major, classes, or employment.  The Office of Academic Advising is available to help students either directly through academic advising, mentoring, testing and developing learning strategies or by identifying the appropriate University resource.  If you feel you need someone with whom to discuss an issue confidentially and free of charge, contact Academic Advising in Morgan 122, 785-670-1942, advising@washburn.edu.

Withdrawal Policy:
During fall and spring semesters, students may go online and withdraw from full semester courses through the second week of class with no recorded grade.  From the third through the eleventh week a “W” is recorded for any dropped course.  After the eleventh week, there are NO withdrawals, and a grade will be assigned for the course. These deadlines will be different for short-term, out-of-sequence, or summer courses.  To view the deadline dates for your courses visit the “Last Day” Deadlines web page at:

Attendance/Administrative Withdrawal:
Although it is the student's responsibility to initiate course withdrawals, an instructor, after due notice to the student, may request withdrawal of the student from a course because of nonattendance through the same date as the last day a student may withdraw from a course. This would NOT absolve the student of financial responsibility for tuition/fees for the course in question.  The inclusion of this information in the course syllabus is considered due notice.

Official E-Mail Address:
Your Washburn University e-mail address will be the official address used by the University for relaying important messages regarding academic and financial information and the University will consider this your official notification for important information.  It may also be used by your instructors to provide specific course information.  If you prefer to use an alternate e-mail address to receive official University notices, you can access your MyWashburn e-mail account, choose the "Options" tab, and select "Settings", scroll to the bottom of the screen, click enable forwarding and enter the e-mail address you would like your Washburn emails forwarded to in the “mail forwarding” area.  Click add and the click on save changes.  This will complete the process of forwarding your Washburn e-mail.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your official e-mail box does not exceed your message quota resulting in the inability of e-mail messages to be accepted into your mailbox.

Tentative Syllabus

I reserve the right to change this syllabus throughout the semester.

Due today
May 29
MODERNISTS: Pound, Eliot, HD, and Stein (online links), Introduction to PMAP, Olson p3-17, 613-21 (PMAP)
Discussion Board Post #1 due by 4pm
May 30
BEATS: Kerouac p75-80 (PMAP), Ginsberg p130-43, 635-37 (PMAP), Di Prima p272-78 (PMAP) 
Discussion Board Response #1 due by 4pm
May 31
Write a poem: see poetry assignment guidelines
Poem #1 by 4pm
June 1
BEATS: Corso p208-14 (PMAP), Snyder p214-21 (PMAP); LANGUAGE: Andrews p668-72 (PMAP), Hejinian p385-90, 653-58 (PMAP)
Discussion Board Post #2 due by 4pm
June 4
LANGUAGE: Silliman p489-97 (PMAP), 660-63 (PMAP); AM. HYBRID: R. Waldrop p313-17 (PMAP), K. Waldrop p247-52 (PMAP)
Discussion Board Response #2 due by 4pm
June 5
Write a poem: see poetry assignment guidelines
Poem #2 by 4pm
June 6
Write Essay #1

June 7
Write Essay #1

June 8
Revise Essay #1
Essay #1 by 4pm
June 11
Intro to American Hybrid
AM. HYBRID: Hejinian p185-91 (AH), K. Waldrop p440-45, R. Waldrop p446-51
Discussion Board Post #3 due by 4pm
June 12
AM. HYBRID: Ashbery p165-84 (PMAP), p22-28 (AH), Beckman p36-42 (AH), H. Mullen p295-300 (AH)

Discussion Board Response #3 due by 4pm
June 13
Write a poem: see poetry assignment guidelines
Poem #3 by 4pm
June 14
Write Essay #2

June 15
Write Essay #2


June 18
Revise Essay #2
Essay #2 by 4pm
June 19
Armantrout p514-17 (PMAP), p15-21 (AH),     Berssenbrugge p517-23 (PMAP), p57-62, Wright p481-87 (AH)
Discussion Board Post #4 due by 4pm
June 20
FLARF: Read online links (Gary, Sullivan, Mohammad, Degentesh) and Rod Smith p392-98 (AH)
Discussion Board Response #4 due by 4pm
June 21
Write a poem: see poetry assignment guidelines
Poem #4 by 4pm
June 22
Write Essay #3

June 25
Write Essay #3

June 26
Revise Essay #3

June 27
Revise Essay #3

June 28
Essay #3 by 4pm
All assignments MUST BE turned in by 4pm

Discussion Boards

Please post a clear point and an unclear point over that day’s reading. These “discussions” won’t cover all of the readings, but it is a good start to seek feedback for something unclear—in either an introduction, poem, or theory essay.

Write two paragraphs: one for your clear point and one for the unclear point. An example: The clear point could be how a certain poem describes its theme well. This would include quotes and elaborations with your analysis. The unclear point could be for a poem that “makes no sense” to you. You should still describe what you see in the poem, what the poet is saying, that the poem “does.” Then ask what questions you have.

The day following a post, look for another post without a response and respond to it. Describe how you see the poem or how a theory applies to a poem. Do your best in analyzing based on the questions posed.

Use details, quotes (with page numbers), and elaborations.

Be respectful of your reading audience in both posts and responses.

Write a poem

This assignment will involve writing a poem in the style or influence of a movement or poet from that week’s reading assignment.

Please include a paragraph or two describing the style or influence, referring to the pages of the reading. For an example, for Poem #1, after reading about the Modernists and Beats that week, if you were inspired by Stein’s prose poem, you could begin with an idea of modern domesticity in terms of today’s technology. Maybe the Ginsberg Essay “Notes for Howl and Other Poems” inspires you. I’m not saying to go find some peyote, but maybe “long units & broken short lines” (PMAP 636) could be an experiment? Feel free to be influenced by more than one source, poem, theory, etc.—a hybrid.

Please refer to the book’s pages and include details and elaborations. I should be able to read the connections between your poem, your paragraph, and the referred poem(s) and or theory(ies)—on which I will assign a grade. I’m not grading “how good” your poem is. I do not want you to feel burdened by writing the poem; I want you to feel inspired by the readings.

Essay #1

Modernists, Beats, or Language Poets essay. Write about one or more poets from the readings so far. Compare and describe how themes, imagery, and form lead to your assertion about what the poet(s) are “doing” in the work.

Essay #2

Language Poets essay. Write about one or more poets and a theory. Base your essay on the poetry readings from June 14 and 15 (Language poets) and the theories from June 7 and 8 (Hejinian and Silliman). Compare and describe how the poet(s) fits the theory. Also, use one or both of the introductions from the books in the essay.

Essay #3

An extensive project over two poets. Include poems, theories, and the introduction(s). Find an overall comparison and contrast in how the poets use context and form for their themes. An ideal paper would be using two poets who have an overall objective or theme in their writing, but write with slight differences. I prefer poets from the same movement, but can be about influenced poets, like Gertrude Stein’s influence on Harryette Mullen.

Any questions? Please do not hesitate in emailing me!

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