Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Monday 2/3/14 Class

Bring in the completed poem you finished from the other classmate.  Be prepared to read it aloud, and talk about where you took it.

  • What was "inside" what the other person wrote that gave you to fuel to push forward?  What wasn't there?
  • How did you make it your own?

Read "Language, Literacy, and Literature," page 3 - 21, The Art of Syntax.

  • What is the "fundament"? 
  • What is "syntax"? 
  • How do language and music interrelate according to Voigt? 
  • It is useful to remember that we write in sentences too, and that the infinite variations of generative syntax take another quantum  leap when they can be reinforced, or reconfigured--rechunked--by the poetic line...  What do you think Voigt is getting at here?  What does she mean by "poetic line" and "rechunk"? 

Look up Wallace Stevens on, and select the poem you like the most.  Let's talk about the ones you have chosen.  And go through some of the syntactical strategies he uses...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wednesday 1/29/14 Class

20-minute poem in class, revised 3 times...  Four sheets of paper. 
Pair up.  Exchange poem/revisions.  Read through.  Then talk about:

What is your process? 
What do you start with?  
How do you know what you don't need?
What do you end with?
What form did you use to write your poem?
How did you decide what you got rid of, and what you kept, and what you added?

Choose one of the 12, and write the beginning of a poem:
Oprah's 12-Ways-to-Write-a-Poem
Read the beginnings aloud.  Switch with the person beside you.  That person finishes the poem.

proc·ess 1  (prŏs′ĕs′, prō′sĕs′)
n. pl. proc·ess·es (prŏs′ĕs′ĭz, prō′sĕs′-, prŏs′ĭ-sēz′, prō′sĭ-)
1. A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result: the process of digestion; the process of obtaining a driver's license.
2. A series of operations performed in the making or treatment of a product: a manufacturing process; leather dyed during the tanning process.
3. Progress; passage: the process of time; events now in process.
4. Law The entire course of a judicial proceeding.
5. Law
a. A summons or writ ordering a defendant to appear in court.
b. The total quantity of summonses or writs issued in a particular proceeding.
6. Biology An outgrowth of tissue; a projecting part: a bony process.
7. Any of various photomechanical or photoengraving methods.
8. Computer Science
a. A running software program or other computing operation.
b. A part of a running software program or other computing operation that does a single task.
9. See conk3.

Denise Levertov.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Syllabus 226 Spring Semester

Introduction to Creative Writing

ENG 226 B, M/W 4:00 – 5:20 PM

275 UPH


Keith Banner:  Blog:  Website for poetry:  Phone:  823-8914.  Office Hours by appointment.


Required Texts

  • Mystery and Manners, Flannery O’Connor
  • The Art of Syntax, Ellen Brant Voigt



  • To become familiar with the language of poetry and fiction
  • To develop an awareness of the variety in form in both fiction and poetry
  • To practice writing and try new things
  • To develop habits of observation, consistency, and care
  • To become proficient at recognizing strategy and intention in structure and form, and to analyze the writer’s success in these attempts
  • To build a solid foundation for the continued study and practice of fiction writing and poetry


Assignments and Grading

  • Quizzes on reading and new terms: 10%
  • Two weekly craft-based assignments: 10%
  • A mid-term poetry portfolio: 25%
  • An end-of-semester fiction portfolio: 25%
  • Two essays in which you examine a poem and a story from the blog (you choose the poem and the story): 7.5% each, 15% total

  • Participation: 15%, includes attendance, class discussions and in-class writing; and bringing appropriate materials to class. Always bring your books and a notebook, along with your preferred writing instrument.   


Weeks 1 – 7:  Poetry

  • A chapter a week in The Art of Syntax.  Possible pop quizzes throughout. Assignment from  
  • Weekly in-class writing assignments.
  • Weekly in-class workshopping of assignments,
  • Portfolio of poetry (four poems), with a paper examining poem of your choosing due:  March 10. 2014


Weeks 8 – 15:  Fiction

  • A chapter a week in Mystery and Manners.  Possible pop quizzes throughout.  Assignment from    
  • Weekly in-class writing assignments.
  • Weekly in-class workshopping of assignments,
  • Portfolio of fiction (two stories), with a paper examining story of your choosing due:  May 7, 2014