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Special Study: Poetry: Experiments and Innovations

  • Module code: CW6007
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of level 5 Creative Writing requirements or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module will look at experiments and innovations in contemporary poetry, in what has been called the post-modern period (1955-present). We will study aspects of the current trends in poetry and examine selected influential poetry movements, such as the Black Mountain School, the New York School, “language” poetry, Oulipo, and late modernism, with special attention to abstract lyricism and lyric disruption. The notion of experiment will also be looked at closely - visual arts, music, and other collaborative approaches to the delivery of poetic utterance may be investigated. Poets such as Denise Riley, Patience Agbabi, Jorie Graham, and Charles Bernstein will be read closely. You will make podcast readings and/or poetry folios which you can use as part of your writing CV, and which may be featured in the end-of-year Awards and Achievement Show. This module will suit students who would like to experiment with several poetic forms and who wish to engage with current poetry culture in order to further develop their own critical and writing ability. Students will be able to engage in their own creative writing projects and demonstrate an understanding of issues and concepts raised by the works studied in this module within their own writing practice.

This is a year-long optional module in the Creative Writing field. It allows an advanced, detailed, and extensive study of a specialised genre of creative writing, giving students a sophisticated understanding of its developments, codes and contexts, and allowing them to engage with this genre from the perspectives of both theory and their own writing practice. Conceptual analysis is reinforced by practical work designed to enable students not only to understand the conventions of their chosen genre but also to apply them creatively to their own writing. The module may suit students wishing to devote extensive consideration to a specific genre of writing, and produce a sustained body of work within its conventions. It is taught by members of staff specialising in appropriate genres and delivered in small groups. 

Aims

  • permit a detailed and extensive study of modern trends in poetry, their conventions and their representative examples
  • enable students to explore these trends and tendancies in relation to their historical and social contexts, providing them with a sophisticated understanding of pertinent theoretical contexts and debates
  • give guidance in investigating and trying out different techniques within the genres which are being studied
  • provide students with an opportunity to develop a sustained piece of creative writing within their specialized genre

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to

  • present a detailed knowledge and understanding of modern trends in poetry and their conventions
  • analyse the ways in which texts in modern poetical genres relate to pertinent social, historical, intellectual, and/or theoretical contexts
  • demonstrate the ability to write a sustained creative piece within a specified genre
  • display an ability to work independently and to manage time efficiently

Curriculum content

  • general introduction to issues related to the genres, their conventions, and their history
  • examination of such issues and conventions across a range of authors in, and texts belonging to, the selected genres
  • sustained discussion and analysis of texts in relationship to their historical, cultural and theoretical contexts
  • extensive consideration of the ways in which the chosen texts reveal characteristic themes, styles, and concerns of the defined genre
  • an opportunity to apply the knowledge of and insight around trends in poetry to individual writing projects

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be taught in two-hour workshops. For each workshop, students will be expected to follow an extensive programme of reading and to complete writing exercises within the genre under scrutiny. Activities within the workshop will remain as flexible as possible to allow the module to adapt to student interests and questions as they develop from readings, discussions, peer reviews and practical writing within the genre. They will include formal analysis of texts, a variety of writing exercises and peer review of individual work within the genre. Each two hour teaching session will be both analytical and practical: it will include the discussion of a set text with regards to its form and its social, theoretical and historical context, and the practice of writing in the genre under scrutiny. Practical work may involve writing exercises, the presentation of drafts of individual projects, and peer-led feedback.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Whole group workshops 26
Guided independent study 274
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Assessment strategy for this module is designed to test students’ knowledge and conceptual understanding of a specialised genre of creative writing and their ability to apply this understanding to their own practice within it. Formative assessment is delivered through the fortnightly workshops, peer review, group tutorial process and individual feedback. Summative assessment is delivered through a Special Study Portfolio (100%) which includes: a creative writing project within the specified genre amounting to 6,000 words or equivalent (70%), a 2,000 word critical essay (20%); and a set of workshop-related tasks such as reading logs or writing exercises (10%)

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
present a detailed knowledge and understanding of a particular genre and its conventions Assessed formatively through formative feedback, and peer-review sessions. Assessed summatively through the Special Study Portfolio (100%)
analyse the ways in which texts in that genre relate to pertinent social, historical, intellectual, and/or theoretical contexts Assessed formatively through formative feedback, and peer-review sessions. Assessed summatively through the Special Study Portfolio (100%)
demonstrate the ability to write a sustained creative piece within the specified genre Assessed formatively through formative feedback, and peer-review sessions. Assessed summatively through the Special Study Portfolio (100%)
display an ability to work independently and to manage time efficiently Assessed formatively through formative feedback, and peer-review sessions. Assessed summatively through the Special Study Portfolio (100%)

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Portfolio 100
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Core Texts:

-        Rothenberg, Jerome and Joris, Pierre eds., Poems for the Millenium: Volume One (University of California Press, 1995)

-        Rothenberg, Jerome and Joris, Pierre eds., Poems for the Millenium: Volume Two (University of California Press, 1998)

-        www.ubuweb.com

-        Hamilton, Nathan ed. Dear World and Everyone In It (Bloodaxe Press 2013)

-        Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations (Random House 2002)

-        Breton, Andre Anthology of Black Humour (Telegram Books 2009)

-        Andrews, Bruce and Bernstein, Charles eds., The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book (Poetics of the New) (Southern Illinois University Press 1997)

-        Coverley, Merlin, Psychogeography (POCKET ESSENTIALS; 2nd Revised edition 2010)

-        Mathews,Harry eds., Oulipo Compendium (Atlas Press; 2nd Revised edition edition 2005)

 

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