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Blank Verse

Blank Verse


Ever had trouble reading blank verse? Hearing the beat? Understanding why anyone would choose to write poems by counting syllables and beats? In this five-week online workshop, students will discover the virtues and resources that have made the blank verse line the preeminent line of the English tradition, studying models from the Renaissance to the present and exploring why this remains a vital form today. Students will develop a feel for the form through exercises translating prose into verse and using monosyllabic words, then write and workshop their own original poems in blank verse that tap its expressive potential for speech and story: an autobiographical poem about a childhood memory, a dramatic monologue and a third-person narrative. Readings will include excerpts from Robert Pinsky's The Sounds of Poetry as well as poems by Wordsworth, Tennyson, Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney, Patricia Smith and more. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Sunday night, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink. Students can expect to leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of the metrical foundations of poetry in English; four new, workshopped poems; and written critiques of those poems.

Workshop Details

  • Professor: Jason Koo
  • Dates: February 14–March 14, 2021
  • Time: Sundays, 5–8 PM
  • Location: online via Zoom
  • Cost: $345
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, FEBRUARY 7, 2021
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off by SUN, FEBRUARY 7