Further information on Winter 2019 courses


Kristin Twitchell: From Form to Free Verse – An Exploration of Poetry Styles


Schedule of classes (subject to modification)

Week 1:
In the beginning – early poetic forms: Anaphora, Acrostic and Abecedarian.
These poems have roots in ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew and have appeared across history from Pompeii and the Psalms to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Week 2:
Sonnets, Ballads and Ghazals: the poetry of song.
From the classic Italian Sonetto (which means “little song”), to 14th century Persian poets like Rumi, to modern day Blues Poems, poetry is the music of literature.

Week 3:
Short and sweet – poetry in eight lines or less.
Haiku, Tanka, Triolet, and Epigram. Whether metaphor or wit, these short poems can capture big ideas, expand our understanding of a simple image and even add a little humor to the mundane. Sometimes less is more.

Week 4:
Over and over again. Repetition is the sincerest form of flattery. Sestina, Villanelle and Pantoum – These poems use patterns and repeating lines to drive home a point or reshape the meaning of a line or word with the smallest of tweaks.

Week 5:
Modern Verse: Found poems, Prose poems, Free Verse, Spoken Word, just to name a few.
Poetic conventions may appear to have disappeared in modern poetry, but even the most free of free verse poems draws from traditional poetic forms and literary turns.

Week 6:
The Group Poem – poetry is rarely a solo undertaking.
From Medieval Troubadours, to 19th century reading rooms, to modern day poetry slams, poets have gathered to read together, share their work and even collaborate. Our final class will function as a mini-workshop, including writing a “group poem” and then a final reading, where participants will share original poems or a favorite poem by another writer.