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Instructor Info:Aracelis Girmay
Office Extension x5552
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Wednesday
06:00 PM - 09:00 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 4
Description: In his introduction to Poetry Like Bread, Martin Espada writes, "Poetry of the political imagination is a matter of both vision and language. Any progressive social change must be imagined first, and that vision must find its most eloquent possible expression to move from vision to reality. Any oppressive social condition, before it can change, must be named and condemned in words that persuade by stirring the emotions, awakening the senses. Thus the need for the political imagination." In this course, we will study aspects of the relationship between poetry and the political landscapes of the 20th and 21st centuries. We will read essays, poems, letters, and manifestos by a wide assortment of writers including: Anna Akhmatova, Walt Whitman, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Bhanu Kapil, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mahmoud Darwish, Christian Campbell, Chris Abani, Kwame Dawes, and Evie Shockley. Their words will guide us into a deeper investigation of the historical potential effects of poetry in relation to perspective and social change. Over the course of the semester, class members will be expected to write critical responses to texts, memorize and recite a poem, conduct an oral presentation on an aspect of poetry and the political imagination, and participate in creative writing experiments and workshops that will help us explode, construct, and re-explode our notions of the political poem. Prerequisite: Eligible students should have taken at least one college-level workshop course (studio arts, film, writing, etc.).